10 Things I Do When I Should Be Writing

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer.

Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. In all honesty, I’ve wanted to be a writer for longer than I can remember.

Among the boxes of family photos and newspaper clippings, you can find stories that my grandma jotted down for me while I dictated them to her, well before I even knew what a “writer” was. I’ve always had a million stories inside me, just dying to find themselves on paper.

I was the kid that got excited to write papers and book reports. When we’d have creative writing lessons in school, I always found it hard to stop at the maximum word limit. For many years, I was selected to attend the Young Writer’s Conference. I got in trouble for “writing notes” to friends in class, only to shock the teachers when the “note” was actually some story I was messing around with. I’d sit in my room and fill up every scrap of paper with one-off scenes and outlines. When I finally got a computer, all bets were off. Now I could write as much as I wanted and have it all in one place!

Of course, this didn’t stop me from writing when I should have been taking notes in class, or from jotting down ideas on receipt tape (or any other available scrap paper) at every job I held. Writing has always been more of a reflex for me. It’s something I have to do.

When I started this blog, I figured it would be a fantastic outlet for all the words that build up in my head over the course of the day. I thought it would be a good way to keep my skills sharp and to motivate me to work on other non-blog-related pieces. Never did I imagine a scenario where I’d find myself struggling to keep up with it.

It’s never a lack of ideas. I have lists upon lists of potential post ideas, to say nothing of the endless lists of story ideas.

No, the problem is a lack of concentration. I only get the urge to write when I should be doing something else. The reverse is also true. When I should be writing, I can usually be found doing one of the following things:

  1. Reorganizing my desk. I mean, you’ve got to have a clean and functional work space, right?
  2. Writing lists of things to write and their arbitrary deadlines. You must have a plan! You just must!
  3. Scrubbing all the walls of my house. Who can concentrate with all those fingerprints staring at them?
  4. Reading. For inspiration, obviously.
  5. Refreshing my Tumblr feed. Because I might miss a really great post that makes me think of high school.
  6. Pinning a bunch of recipes I’ll never make and projects I’ll never do. Pinterest is the devil.
  7. Checking Facebook. How else am I supposed to know what my friends and family are up to? Plus, other people’s drama could inspire a great story or post.
  8. Daydreaming about all the great interviews I’ll do on morning talk shows when I’m finally a best seller. You have to be prepared for these things.
  9.  Dancing around the house like an idiot while singing at the top of my lungs. You’ve got to stay in shape somehow
  10. Complaining that I don’t have enough time to write. Clearly, that is the problem, not my complete inability to stay on task or manage my time (thanks, ADD).

So, there you have it. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in the frequency of my posts lately, that should just about sum it up.

All kidding aside, life has been busy lately. We’re in the process of buying our first home, I’ve been trying to stay on track with my new fitness goals, and focus on some other projects…all while chasing a demanding toddler around.

Life can be incredibly hectic and things can get lost in the shuffle, but in the end you always find yourself coming back to what you love.

And what I love, is putting words on the page.