Monday, August 18, 2008


My writing, which was going like a gangbusters has dropped off sharply. The words have slowed to a trickle, each sentence more torturous than the last to write. I'm in the last third of the novel, past that ponderous middle so I should be on easy street with regards to writing. I know my characters, my plot and my ending, its really a matter of connecting the dots. But I am really struggling.

One problem I have when I write is I let the world around me fall into chaos. Oh, I get dinner on the table, but it is last minute and hardly worthy of my kitchen. The bed is made and you won't trip on anything walking through the house. I operate on minimum effort. I know it isn't unusual for writers to let things go to hell in a handbasket when they are enmeshed in a book, but I can't survive in a chaotic environment. I suffer from mild depression and I find one of the triggers for an episode is disorder.

I'm naturally disorganized (except for my dishwasher)and it is very easy for me to let it all go. However, I don't like living like that hence it is a constant battle. So since I've been working on this WIP, I've let my natural tendencies free rein. Until Friday....

I have a cleaning lady who comes every other Friday. It is one of my big indulgences. She only does my bathrooms and kitchen but as I have four bathrooms, its an all day thing. The point in having her come in is to free me to get other chores done. My housekeeper arrived the other morning and I decided to make the best of the time and went upstairs to my kids' room. They have a dress up drawer so I decided we needed to go through it and toss the things that had outlived their usefulness. After we finished I realized we might as well clean up their room. After that, I walked into their toy room.

Oh. My. It was out of control and I knew I had to address it. I have to admit, I wanted to drop to the floor in a swoon, it seemed insurmountable. But I divided it into areas and went in for the attack. My one daughter helped (her sister is more trouble than she's worth when it comes to something serious). We started with the closet, tossing out things they have no use for, setting aside toys for charity and reorganizing the shelves to make it easier for them to get and replace things. It was amazing how much room we had. Next we tackled the bookshelves. Ughh....It was time to get rid of the Little Golden Books. Most of ours were Muppet related so I didn't feel too bad putting them in the charity box. Same goes for board books and those annoying books that are huge and have the push buttons on the side. We'd pick them up at Costco for $10 and they'd entertain the kids while we shopped. The Barney Christmas one was particualrly annoying. I was amazed at how may really cool books they have. The variety of children's books is so much greater than when I was a kid.

On Saturday we tackled the Barbies and the Polly Pockets. It took almost all day. They have some very cool Polly Pocket stuff. I wish they had those when I was a kid. On Sunday I made two loaves of bread and chicken souvlaki. And by today, I felt refreshed and able to write.

I guess my point is that when you have writer's block or no movtivation to write, it might be time to take stock of your situation. I know I've talked about this before but I think it bears repeating. At least I need the reminder. And maybe it isn't disorder. Maybe you haven't gone to the gym lately. Or maybe its time to take an afternoon or evening and go out with a friend for a meal and window shoppping. It could be a hobby is sitting there neglected and needing help. Bake some cookies or try a new recipe. We need to be reminded we are more than just writers. What makes us writers is everything else we are.

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