Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Drawer Left Unorganized

By Deborah Sharp

I think Book No. 4 is going to be a 10-pounder. Not that MAMA SEES STARS is going to tip the scales at 10 pounds. No, I'm going to weigh 10 pounds more than I do now if I ever manage to finish the darned thing.

Ah, avoidance. Often, it takes the form of deciding I need a little snack before I can start a new scene. And I never decide that a couple of carrots or a stalk or two of celery would really hit the spot. I've had three cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows tonight. Yes, it's unseasonably cold in Fort Lauderdale. But still. Three cups??? Last night it was tortilla chips with melted cheddar. (It's cold out, right?) The night before, a can of chocolate peanuts left over from Christmas. Note to husband: Lock up the chocolate.

It's not all about eating. I've also done laundry, paid the bills, watched TV. Including re-runs of shows I didn't like the first time. I've even organized drawers -- cleaned out drawers! -- in a desperate bid to avoid getting back to the book I promised myself I'd dive back into come the New Year. Well, the New Year is now a week old. The notebook awaiting my next chapter is growing cobwebs.

Is it just me, or is everyone else having trouble getting back into the swing of writing? (Sue Ann Jaffarian, don't answer that. Your work ethic puts every other Midnight Ink author to shame. Three concurrent series??? You know the rest of us suspect you're an android, right?)

Fess up, y'all. Let me know I'm not alone. What's your favorite avoidance tactic? How do you finally get back on track? How many pounds did you pack on finishing your last book?

How about the non-authors out there? Anybody gotten ANYTHING done, work-wise, since mid-December? And clean drawers don't count.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I've been known to clean all the toilets in the house--happily!--instead of working on my WIP. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

G.M. Malliet said...

Paying the bills makes me feel both virtuous and organized. It does not get the WIP any further ahead, though.

I really do dislike housework and would rather write, so that's a blessing.

I don't know how Sue Ann does it. She must go to work in her PJs. (I came out to the coffee shop w/o my glasses so if I just wrote DJs, I hope you know what I meant.)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

HAH! I am an expert at Spider Solitaire and in the past two years have played 4,169 games of online dominoes, 441 games of backgammon and 689 games of hearts. And don't get me started on TV.

I keep a to do list. When I can't function at the keyboard, I pick one chore and do it, then force myself to return to the manuscript again for another hour. It's amazing how much housework gets done that way. A friend says he can always tell when my manuscripts are going well - my apartment is dirty.

Gin - I don't go to the office in my PJ's, but more than once someone has asked if my iron was broken.

One blessing though - I can't type and eat at the same time. And that's a BIG BLESSING!

Hang in there everyone, we're all in the same boat.

Sir John said...

It has to be twitter and research. I am either completely working on the novel or not. When I write I work 14 hour days.
Johnny Ray

Keith Raffel said...

Deb, Have some more chocolate. You could use a little more meat on your bones. Um, what's the problem again?

Jen Chandler said...

Good know I'm not alone :) I'll clean, read, eat, wander, stare aimlessly at the walls...whatever it takes NOT to turn on the computer!

Happy Thursday and pass the cocoa,

Alan Orloff said...

You want to waste some SERIOUS time? Get Photoshop. You may never write a word again!

I'm with Keith, eat some more chocolate. It's full of antioxidants, you know.

Bella Flowers said...


Spider solitaire! Isn't it the BEST timewaster?

Also love Word Twist Scramble and on Facebook.

PJ Parrish

Cricket McRae said...

Deb, I know just what you mean. I've reorganized all the drawers in the house and am about to start cleaning the basement. Bleah.

However, I have a new little time trick, having recently purchased an hourglass on impulse. Just something pretty to put on my desk -- and then I started really using it. Somehow grains of sand are easier to deal with than numbers on a clock. So now I flip it and write until it's time to turn it over again. Four flips and I get to go play in the kitchen for a while.

G.M. Malliet said...

Another time-waster that I can highly recommend is that video of the baby dancing to Put a Ring on It.

Gee, and to think we're only 7 days into those new year's resolutions. ;-)

Deborah Sharp said...

Oh, man ... your comments made me smile today. So it's NOT just me, and even the inexhaustible Sue Ann gets distracted. Thanks for the good tips: I'll try that to-do list (and try not to do ALL the items instead of writing), and I LOVE the hourglass, Cricket. Thanks for the permission to eat more chocolate, guys ... Gotta go now to Google that baby dancing to Put a Ring on It ;-)

G.M. Malliet said...

There are a few of these out there. This one is really cute: