Procrastination prevails

It’s hard for me to blog when I don’t feel proud of myself. My vanity compels me to wait until I’m on an upswing of energy and confidence, at which time I enjoy enthusiastically posting my achievements and plans.

Not so today. I’ve had an icky, unproductive two weeks with very little book progress to report. Instead I have been doing everything but: cleaning the condo, trying to get a new screen door, buying and wrapping and mailing Christmas presents, catching up with friends I haven’t talked to in a while, addressing Christmas cards, working out, meeting with my financial adviser, celebrating Hanukkah with friends, reading, doing the crossword, you name it.

Ugh. I’m so annoyed with myself. Everyday I say it’s going to be different and every day I get up and find a million things to do that are NOT writing. At least I did a long-awaited interview with an intriguing 82-year-old woman at my condo for four hours last weekend — she’d been waiting a long time for someone to ask about her sexual history and it took perhaps more time than it needed to for her to share. But check that off.

And I had a productive one-on-one session with my computer teacher to make heads and tails of the survey statistics which are now in the computer. Plus, I have another session scheduled in two days. So check that off as well.

But the writing — ugh. I’ve been working on one chapter forever, alternately making progress and bogging down. After thrashing it out with a writer friend two nights ago, I decided to give it up for now and move on. I need certain interviews to be able to complete it, and I’m just not getting them, so I’m going to let it go and move on to chapters dedicated to each decade in women’s lives. I’m going to trust that in the interviews for those segments, the women I need to complete the troublesome chapter will surface.

Tomorrow I have a session with my book-writing partner, and that will help too. She is hugely inspiring and always makes me feel competent — which I could use a dose of right about now. It would be such a boost to have a week of enervating productivity before I head to Texas for the Christmas vacation.

Because guess what? It’s highly unlikely I’ll get anything done on the book during the two weeks I’m out of town. It’s nice to tell myself I’ll find some quiet pockets of time to write and be creative, but come on. How likely is that? If I discover a solitary hour when I’m in Austin with all my family and pals and distractions, I’m way more likely to log on to Facebook than devote myself to the difficult task of writing.

OK., I’ve done it. Posted a blog about my weakness of character and pathetic procrastination. Turns out it feels every bit as demoralizing as I expected. Perhaps I will be galvanized to write just to avoid such humiliating posts in the future.

The good news I can share is that my migraines are still in retreat — which is HUGE as anyone who knows me can attest. I’ve had one bad spell, around Thanksgiving, with two headaches in five days. Since I’ve been headache free ever since, I’m wondering if perhaps that episode was the result of an inflamed ulcer that pretty much took over my mouth for a week after new bands were added to my braces the Monday before Thanksgiving. The wires on one of the bands were so sharp they tore up my cheek in moments, so of course I used wax to cover the offending band. But when I removed the wax to eat meals, my mouth would get dug up again. After three days, I just began leaving the wax in while I ate. Only twice did I end up swallowing it; a small price to pay because the ulcer finally healed.

Have I mentioned that braces are a giant pain? I feel the need to point that out, because if I’ve only said it a thousand times, it’s NOT ENOUGH.

The saving grace? The movement of my top front teeth means they no longer are shoving my jaw back. And that’s a good thing for migraine control. But have you noticed? It’s all this bizarre circle where the reason for the braces is to banish migraines and maybe they do but they also cause mouth trauma which in turn can cause migraines which negates the effect in the first place!

It takes someone smarter than me to figure out the sum of all the totals.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here. Slogging through this unproductive period and anticipating an upswing. When it arrives, I’ll share my achievements via blog and release you from the task of a) feeling sorry for me or b) wondering why I don’t quit whining and get my ass in gear.

Me, I’m in the ‘b’ camp.


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6 Responses to “Procrastination prevails”

  1. Dianne King Says:

    Phsaw, Miss! It is the nature of book writing to fall into flounders. Interesting that our feeling of not being competent helps push us into that hole and keep us there, though. Also the nature of writing. You are right on task, in other words.

    Did you invent a new phrase? Mouth trauma.

  2. Patti Says:

    It’s the last two weeks of the year – put the book aside, enjoy the holidays with friends and family. Start fresh in January – everything will look better.

  3. Mike Atwater, PhD Says:

    Thanks for talking about the down-frustrating-lack of accomplishment times. It’s so easy to pretend like those times don’t happen and like we are ‘fine’. But we all have ’em.

    You better get it in gear and get some writing done prior to hitting Texas because it all about relaxing, family and friends when you cross the Brazos River.

    So glad to hear about the migraines decreasing and hang in there with those braces.
    Happy Holidays,

  4. Mike Atwater, PhD Says:

    I should have mentioned, you’ve been a good influence on me, (sooner or later you had to be a good influence on somebody). I started a blog last month (

  5. Robert Redus Says:

    Hey Anne…

    I’m doing neither…a) feeling sorry or b) wondering why you don’t quit whining and get your ass in gear….that place is what happens to those of us who have chosen some form of art as profession in the box marked….option C…I’ve looked at a perfectly white canvas for days…wondered why i didn’t chose minimalism as my preference in style…

    “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

    enjoy your holiday…let me know what happens….


  6. Sam LeForge Says:

    Anne, quit beating yourself up! What I took from your posting is that you’ve taken care of many items on your “have to do” list, plus several others that will ultimately add to the end goal. The holidays are always chaotic, and derail the best of productive plans. You are not alone in that department, dear friend! Clear that beautifully creative brain for a bit, and enjoy yourself. You deserve it, and it will do you a great deal of good. It will all come together, probably when you least expect it to.

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