11.17.16 - Things I've Done Today Instead of Writing

Things I've Done Today Instead of Writing

Today was supposed to be one of those huge word count days. Instead, it is nearly 3pm, and I’ve written a single word. One. 

As punishment, I present to you my day thus far, highlighting all the things I did instead of writing, in real time:

  • Sleep through my alarm
  • Love on the cats
  • Talk business with a friend
  • Skip my morning walk
  • Eat a lingering breakfast whilst researching a duplicate wine shipment (the horror)
  • Read the news
  • Read the news again
  • Complain on Twitter
  • Receive brilliant news from my editor
  • Call husband and parents to share said news
  • Text assistant to share said news
  • Check email
  • Write agent
  • Research what said news actually means
  • Complain to writer friends I am getting nothing done 
  • Check email
  • Talk to husband again
  • Throw mice for the cats
  • Open manuscript. Type one word.
  • Check email
  • Decide to get lunch
  • As I leave, unmarked pizza delivery arrives
  • Decide pizza delivery man is really an assassin. Check neighbor’s Facebook to make sure they are alive, because NO ONE IS HOME TO GET THE PIZZA AND THE DELIVERY GUY IS STANDING ON THEIR PORCH WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING?
  • Wait for pizza delivery guy to leave because ASSASSINS
  • Go to Subway for lunch
  • Read a book while eating stinky salad (stinky because tuna and onions, not stinky bad)
  • Order groceries
  • Heat up tea, get fresh water, take laptop to the porch
  • Find something sweet (spiced pecans)
  • Read the one word written
  • Listen to small child next door calling “Is anybody here?” (a game, I assume)
  • Read the news
  • Pet the cat
  • Check email
  • Facebook
  • Update my Goodreads queue
  • See I’ve only read 60 books this year, but am relieved to see I’m on track for the 70 I committed to
  • Look at stats on new book just released. Realize this is a very bad idea
  • Check email
  • See Parnassus Books Classic Bookclub is reading AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
  • Admire cover copy
  • Realize I am the last person on earth who hasn’t read Agatha Christie (again, the horror)
  • Order my first Agatha Christie novel 
  • Check email—receive assurance from BFF I am not a hack
  • Decide to write a blog. Because if you can’t write, write about not writing, right?
  • Take a deep breath, turn on Freedom, and write*…
  • (Whilst writing, check email three times, prep and start dinner, and take three phone calls.) 

5pm update

*and write… 1080 words. Hallelujah and hurrah! That’s 1080 fiction and 425 non-fiction. I’ve earned my walk!

Hey, it’s one of those days.


It has been one of those days. I set my alarm last night with the purest of intentions--get up, make tea, settle in for a beautifully clear two-hour block of writing before an appointment and some errands. Then return, settle in and write the afternoon away.

Here's what happened instead:

8:00 Alarm sounds - snooze button hit

8:10 Alarm sounds - snooze button hit

8:30 Drag ass out of bed

8:40 Cat meowing plaintively for a brushing

8:50 Cat brushed, email dealt with, Diet Coke cracked (yes, it seems I am back on the caffeine. THIS MUST END) Settled in with laptop for writing. Can still get a solid hour of writing in

9:00 Channel inner Goddess by fixing corrupted Mac Harddrive - without help! (Rah - Rah!)

9:30 Lion now running lightning fast. Spend 20 minutes gliding through various apps, swiping left right and up.

9:50 Um, not sure, though I can say unequivocally there were fewer than 100 words written.

10:00 Online errand for husband

10:05 Email rechecked, RSS Feeds read - three bookmarked for future blogs, which is really a horrid form of procrastination...

10:15 Leave for appt. Optimize wasted time by cleaning apps off iPhone. iPhone continues to hang, so plan to update software as soon as I arrive home

12:30 Finish appt, head to grocery store. Virtuously multitask by making phone calls while driving

1:15 Arrive home, write checks, pay bills - writer bills, not household

1:30 Back in chair at last. Laptop open to manuscript. iPhone and iPad syncing, making me unable to turn on Freedom. All shiny objects.

2:15 Start thinking about lost time. No better way to lose more time, truly.

2:30 100 words revised

2:45 Find self making soundtrack playlist for new book

2:50 Feel overwhelming need to be funny, post stupid comment on Facebook

2:55 Open bag of sunflower seeds. For the record, eating sunflower seeds takes one hand away from the keyboard. I'm just sayin'.

3:00 Software updated across all devices. New music downloaded. Time to go.

3:10 Another 100 words.

3:20 Find myself online again, on Amazon, reminding myself that yes, I have written a book before, and yes, I will do it again. Ooh, pretty colors...

3:30 Read interesting blog post about rejection by friend Robert Gregory Browne. Order his new book, THE PARADISE PROPHESY

3:45 Start to get rather pissed at self for wasting an entirely perfect afternoon

4:00 Decide I need more accountability. Decide (tomorrow) Tuesday will be minimum 5K day. Decide to start posting short blogs around 5 pm daily, 5 days a week.

4:20 Another 100 words

4:30 Give up and write blog

4:50 Cat decides lap seems like a good idea. Screech...

5:00 Post Blog

Still haven't had the tea.


Mama said there'd be days like this. I am not prone to procrastination. But sometimes, I get into the cycle of doing everything AROUND what I need to be doing instead of just buckling down and getting the words down.

I know that sometimes, the writer's brain will not be forced into creativity. That there are certain absolutes in life - you will have days that even though your butt is in the chair, it doesn't matter, because your mind has absconded. It's frustrating. It's demoralizing. It's something that happens to the very best of writers.

It's what you do the next day that matters.

So repeat after me.

I will endeavor to do better tomorrow.

Because really, what else can you do?