Friday, August 20, 2010

100 Writer’s Block Lane, Procrastinationville, USA

It’s just like they say; as soon as you have time to write, you can’t think of a damn thing to say—or at least I can’t. Thus, I’m procrastinating. A friend and former roommate of mine is an expert procrastinator—world class! While trying to avoid one task (typically grad school homework), she would vacuum, dust, do the laundry and the dishes, clean the countertops and the floors, make custom greeting cards, paint, sew, walk her dog, and go rollerblading with me. If any of these tasks had been the primary objective, she would have been the most efficient and industrious person in the world; I mean she could have had her own cable TV show on how to get shit done—provided it wasn’t the shit she was actually supposed to be getting done! Why is it we can accomplish so much when the tasks we ARE doing are NOT the ones we should be doing, want to be doing, or need to be doing? And, why can’t we somehow trick ourselves into getting the actual goals to come up on the procrastination to-do-list?

Maybe I just need to change venues. Maybe my muse is ordering a tall mocha in a coffee shop across town, and I’m not there to participate in a stimulating discussion of evocative ideas. Or maybe, I need to dial up the adventure factor in my life now that I am back from Maine with plenty of time on my hands before returning to work in October. What would it take? Solo sailing on Puget Sound? I’m honestly no fan of hiking alone—despite loving Elizabeth Austen’s poem, The Girl Who Goes Alone. I wonder if she’s free for hiking this afternoon?

Maybe I need to change genres. I’ve always loved memoir and personal essay. I like curling up with an author and reading a first-person account. It makes me feel like the author is a friend. And especially when I am unapologetically reading chick lit—I feel like I am curling up on the couch with a close girl friend and sharing tall tales over glasses of wine and munchies. But lately, I’ve had a fear that maybe I’m not really all that interesting. Of course, my boat, the Shady Lady, is interesting. My friends are colorful and interesting. And, when Brian and I actually start sailing around the world, THAT will be interesting. But, right now, sitting on the leather sofa in our rented place on Capital Hill, am I really all that interesting? And, if I’m not interesting enough, perhaps it’s time to tiptoe into fiction, where I can make myself and everyone else as interesting as my imagination allows—but that brings me right back to where I started and my lack of brilliant ideas and subsequent procrastination. Rats! I think I see some dishes to pick up, and I don’t think the Thai Cole Slaw I made for the party tonight is quite enough . . .

2 comments:

  1. We build our own universes or contentment nests and when the last layer is in place we are distressed by the rigidity and finality of the solution. In my experience, maybe not yours, this uneasy feeling can only be alleviated by embracing chaos. The challenge isn't imagination but comfort.

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