Monday, November 30, 2009

Green Eggs and Ham

Chances are you’ve probably heard of Dr. Suess’s story. Maybe someone read it to you as a child. Maybe you read it to your children. Even now you can probably hear pieces of it in the back of your mind.

I do not like them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here of there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Why am I quoting Dr. Suess? Because writers have a lot in common with the furry yellow hero of that popular story. We want to write, we know we should write, but more often than not when it comes to the execution, we put way too many restrictions on getting it done.

I can’t (don’t like to) write when my favorite show is on. I can’t write when there is laundry to do. I can’t write with the kids watching cartoons. I can’t write because I have to figure out what to wear tomorrow. I can’t…

If you can think it up, chances are a writer has relied on it dozens of times to put off writing. Because one thing most writers do as often as they write, is procrastinate. At the time our excuses seem legitimate enough, but if every writer held out for those optimal writing conditions (which is a little like waiting for lightning to strike), there would be a lot less writing getting done, and fewer books being published.

I used to write at night when my boys were asleep and my husband was out in the garage (that’s another blog post altogether LOL). But after my little girl came along last spring (which meant being up repeatedly through the night), I had to be more open-minded about when I write. It was either try something new or give it up for a while.

I went with trying something new. :)

If you want to succeed bad enough, then you find a way to make it happen. Even if it means plugging your nose and trying the damn eggs. :)And you never know, you just might find that being open-minded about your writing process will lead to getting more done.

So what kind of tasks do you find yourself finding excuse after excuse to avoid? Did finding a new way to approach the situation make getting it done any easier?


sherry said...

I hate going to the grocery store and will put it off until there's no food in the house. I think I dislike it so much because I worked in them for so long. I will finally just make myself get up and go but I will usually go to Wal-Mart supercenter late at night so there want be many people around.

sherry said...

oops I can't spell that should be won't instead of want

PG Forte said...

I agree, Sherry, there's a lot to be said for shopping late at night!

I despise vacuuming. It's the noise--it gets on my last nerve. I've basically eliminated carpeting so I can make do most of the time with a mop and broom. For the vacuum emergencies, I rely on my husband--he doesn't mind the noise and can't stand mopping so we make a good pair. ;)

As for writing procrastination excuses, my new favorite is this one: I can't write while the puppy is terrorizing my cats. I figure that'll see me through December, which is when (fingers crossed) the adorable little terror hound goes back to my son.

Kelly Jamieson said...

I do the exact same routine with my running - I do love running, but I can't run if it's too windy, or if it's below -10 degrees C, or above 25 degrees or if it might rain or snow or if I've just eaten get the idea!

And PG I despises vacuuming too! The cords and hoses get in the way it's noisy and irritates me no end! My husband knows better than to make me do it or the entire family will suffer my foul mood.

Meg Benjamin said...

Oh Kelly, I get it with the running, only with me it's going to the gym. Once I'm there and going it's okay, but actually getting there usually involves a lot of internal pep talks. And of course, I can't go if it looks like rain...or snow...or, well, who knows what kind of weather those clouds might produce.