Thursday, July 28, 2022

Procrastinators Unite! . . . Tomorrow

 I was talking to my sister on the phone today and we were commiserating like we often do. 

"I've had this whole summer to write and I haven't written a word. One time, ONCE, I opened my laptop, pulled up a fresh new Word doc and stared at it. I muttered to myself, 'Just write. Write something. Anything." The cursor continued to blink in the upper left corner. I gave myself a little pep talk. "C'mon, you know once you start writing, the words will come. Just START! Write something.' A half an hour later, I closed my computer and played the Harry Potter game on my phone."

My sister, nodding in agreement, responded, "I was supposed to look for a job this summer. The summer's not over though, right? I keep thinking I should be cleaning my basement and doing productive things because when I start working again, I'll look back and be like 'why did I waste all that time?' Then again, I think - I'll be working soon and I don't want to look back and wonder why I didn't have more fun doing the things I want to do, you know?"

"I understand. It's a conundrum. But I haven't even been having fun or anything. I think I'm becoming agoraphobic. I never leave my apartment. I just sit here, escaping life by watching tv. My cats are starting to think maybe I died."

"Yes, I saw on Facebook that you've finished Netflix."

"And Prime and Peacock too," I added.


"I figure I'll just win the lottery and then I can quit my job and write. Although, having all the time in the world this month hasn't given me the ability to write so . . ." I trailed off.

"Have you bought a ticket?"

"Uh no. I actually ran to Publix the other night to buy some heavy whipping cream because I got a sudden hankerin' for chocolate mousse. I saw ropes strung out across the store with a sign directing people where to line up in order to buy lottery tickets. Only 2 people were in line because it was like 9:45 at night (which is a perfectly normal time to feel the need to make chocolate mousse.) I thought about getting a ticket because there wasn't a long wait, and because the jackpot was like $830 million dollars. But alas, I never buy tickets so I wasn't sure what the process was and being the tender age of 52, of course I couldn't just ask the guy at Publix. So I paid for the whipping cream and left, all the while thinking I was stupid for not just asking how to buy a stupid ticket and knowing that I would be so pissed off if the winning ticket ended up being sold at that Publix. I mean, how do you go on from something like that?

"Oh my gosh, you're turning into me!" My sister has always been a super introvert. I mean, she's super, in that she's very introverted. I guess she is super at being introverted also. Like she's an expert-level introvert. I, on the other hand, have always been quite extroverted. Until recently with my whole shut-in status, and my fantasizing about being a hermit when I grow up.

"I know!" I said in my best Monica voice. (My sis always gets my Friends references. And literally any TV show or movie quotes. It makes our parents crazy because it's like we speak another language. The language of love! <--- Sorry, I got sidetracked with a Better off Dead quote. As I was saying, we speak the language of random movie quotes. Our mother especially LOVES when we go off with the quotes in the middle of a group chat. She'll be talking about something serious, like telling us about her visit with our grandma who has dementia. She'll mention that our grandma had mashed potatoes for dinner and my sister and I will cut in with:

These mashed potatoes are so creamy.
l could never make a good pot roast.
You need good beef.
John Wayne was tall.
Dustin Hoffman was five-six.
Argentina has great beef. Beef and Nazis.

At that point our mom generally gives up and leaves the conversation.

 "So if I'm going to be a shut-in, I should at least spend my time writing, right?" I asked.

"Yes, you should! You need to move back here to Chicagoland so I can motivate you to write! And you can motivate me to clean my basement!"

"You know that wouldn't work. We'd both be like, 'Meh, why rush it? Let's have margaritas instead!' And we'd spend the day drinking."

"Good point. Well, I'm telling you now to write something. You have to give me a half an hour of work. I want it on my desk by 9:00."

"Okay Ross." (Friends again.)

"I mean it," she insisted.

"A half an hour of work is too loose. I mean I stared at a blank screen for half an hour earlier this week. You need to be more specific. Give me a word count. Or wait! How about if I don't work on my stupid book, but I'll write a blog post. Does that work?"

"Yes! Do it! Don't forget! Put a post-it on your cat or something so you don't forget."

So this is my blog post about wanting to write a blog post because, as I told my sister, "I can't keep saying I'm a writer if I never write anything."

And here is a picture of my post-it, reminding me to write.


Vanessence7 said...

Yes, you need to write! My husband struggled with this same thing, too. He called it BIC - Butt In Chair time. "I need more BIC!" he'd say.

I suspect it's more difficult now because you used to write about your kid's escapades when they were littles and now that they're grown, it's got to be harder to find "source material." Don't let that cursor mock you though! Show it who's boss. Blink back at it and write! You got this! xoxox

Bonnie said...

Seven years ago I bought a book called The More You Do, The Better You Feel: How to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happy Life. I still haven't finished reading it. I am the queen of procrastination. (I'm actually procrastinating now!) But I'm so glad you managed a blog post. I've missed hearing from you.

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