Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anatomy of Avoidance

I have been avoiding. For a good 24 hours now. I had a magazine article due and last night I was so eager to avoid finishing it that I moved a rug in my office and swept. Nasty. I hate both of those things. Why? Because they're nasty. But apparently that was preferable to continuing to work on this. 

The irony is that it's a fun story. For some reason I just had a block about it. And, frankly, I could have a block about it. That's just not a luxury you often have when writing for hire.

Today I awoke with the knowledge that this must be finished today. It was the only thing I had today that was critical to get done so I took my sweet time. So today was a meandering day of avoidance, which I thought I would share with you because parts of it are funny. Parts of it are also sad and pathetic. But, as usual, I don't have the common sense to edit that out.

First thing when I got up, before I even got dressed, I worked on the article some. First up was to reread it.

Then I checked Twitter and Facebook and posted this:
I was hoping when I reread my writing this morning it would sparkle. It does not. But it must sparkle - or at least not be deathly dull, which is what it is at the moment. Finding myself fresh out of fairy dust, I suppose I must rewrite. I worked so hard at avoiding it last night that I swept the floor in my office - including moving rugs, which I despise. Play time - if that's what one can call moving grungy rugs - is over. Sigh...

I worked on the article some.
I ate some three day old chips I brought home from Chili's. (Maybe that was four days ago.) I used them as crackers for a piece of provolone cheese. I called this breakfast.

I worked on the article some. 

I made lunch plans for later in the week and thought about how good some Cherry Berry yogurt would be right now. Yes, I know it's still - technically - morning.

I worked on the article some. 
Then I checked Twitter and found this link to a piece about geriatric men making a nude calendar to fund-raise for their church.  http://www.sharpseniors.com/blog/seniors-gettin-naked-for-charity/ I love their humor about it.

Then I worked on the article some. 

I talked with a friend on google chat. (It was work related, so get off my case.)

I worked on the article some.

Then I started shopping for eyeglasses online. Living social had a coupon yesterday that made me start looking. You can take a photo of yourself and try different glasses on your fuzzy face. It's Living Social's fault. The coupon was going to expire. I needed to do it quickly. The deal was only good for another 16 hours or so.

I posted this on Twitter: 
I am now shopping for eyeglasses online to avoid #writing. Oh that I could apply this level of creativity to actual writing.

Then I worked on the article some. 

I needed a break so I finished the last few pages of a Jen Lancaster novel. She is a funny girl. Unfortunately, humor was not a skill I needed in this article.

I worked on the article some more. It was going surprisingly well. So, I quit.

Then I posted on Facebook:
Despite my best efforts to avoid, which have included shopping online for eyeglasses and finishing reading a Jen Lancaster novel, the article I'm rewriting is coming together nicely.

I moved another rug into the office under the chair. I measured the space so I can pick up something better suited. I added that to the shopping list I had started earlier in the day.
Then I tried to order a pizza, but the Papa John's online ordering system wasn't working. So, I squirted some honey mustard dressing onto a vintage saucer, and dipped some lunch meat straight out of the plastic container into it. I called this lunch.
I watched The Talk on TV where I learned that one glass of alcohol each day increases your risk of breast cancer by 10%, two glasses by 20%, three glasses by 30%, etc. I had never heard that before. Interesting. http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_talk/video/?vs=Full+Episodes - about 14 minutes in if you want to see it for yourself.
I texted a friend about coming by her office to borrow a presser foot for making double welt cord. (Yes, I'm reupholstering a chair too. However, you'll note that was not something I spent any time on today.)
Then I worked on the article some.

I considered showering, but I was WORKING for heaven's sake. I should not stop for the trifling reason of washing my hair and making myself somewhat presentable. This might be the time to mention I did have some errands I had to run today, and showering was going to be a necessity before leaving my home. But I live alone. No reason I can't type in my night clothes.

Then I saw on Facebook that The Big Bang Theory announced Wil Wheaton would be making a return appearance this week. I needed to share that with people. Of course. This is very important information in some circles. 

So I posted a link to their story with this:
Aside from my love of Sheldon, who I do recognize is a fictional character, I have great affection for Wil Wheaton. However, for the record, I care far more for the guy who writes books like "Dancing Barefoot" than the fictional character, Wesley Crusher, he portrayed on Trek. Not that there was anything wrong with Wesley, or Trek. I do love me some good Star Trek. Okay, I must get back to my own writing now... (Isn't it amazing how creative my avoidance is? If only I could apply that energy to my writing.) 

I worked on the article some.
I charged my camera batteries. I looked at more eyeglass frames. I responded to people on Twitter and Facebook. I surfed.
I worked on the article some.
I organized my vintage costume jewelry pins in a glass topped tray.
I posted this on Facebook:
Did you know you have to measure your "Pupillary Distance" to order eyeglasses online? I didn't even know I had a "PD." (That's the cool lingo, just in case you want to work that into your next cocktail party conversation. Does anyone have cocktail parties anymore? Or did that die in 1972 when everyone just started having keggers? "Cocktail party" sounds so much more sophisticated.) Somehow me sticking a ruler near my eyeballs to measure my PD in mm - in fact, in half mm - seems like an idea fraught with potential disaster. I can't even accurately measure the space for a rug. I'm going back to writing before a ruler ends up in my eye.
I called the cable company to make some changes to my account. 
I emailed the editor to let him know the article was getting written and would be to him in the morning. I was afraid he might be concerned given my Facebook posts. Do not frighten your editor. That should be a rule.
I posted this on Twitter:
You have to measure your "Pupillary Distance" to order eyeglasses online. I'm going back to #writing now before a ruler ends up in my eye.
 I worked on the article some.
I tested some ink pens to see if they worked and tossed out duds. I wasn't using pen and paper, but this seemed important to do right that very minute.
I made a new Twitter friend.
I worked on the article.
Then I hopped in the shower so I could pick up the presser foot at the appointed time. (The presser foot was pressing, huh? Yes, I do amuse myself sometimes. Thankfully.)
I dressed and posted the following on Facebook:
I am about to leave the house with wet hair and no makeup except some Burt's Bees "lip shimmer" ... no doubt I will see many of you shortly.

I went and picked up the presser foot and enjoyed a lovely conversation with Autumn. Then I went to the cable company, the bank, a local eyeglass place, and had dinner with a friend. You have to admit that was very efficient. I did all of those errands in about an hour and a half. Then I had a two hour plus dinner and conversation with Greg.

I came home and worked on the article some.

I read responses to my facebook and twitter posts. I have fun friends.

I printed a pupillary distance ruler. It's just like a regular ruler, but it has a cool eyeball on it and the numbers are printed backwards so you can read them in the mirror. You can get your own at http://www.coastalcontacts.com/template-resources/assets/documents/doc_PDrulerCA.pdf

I worked on the article some.

I ordered eyeglasses from zenni optical, which I had never heard of before, but was recommended by a friend on Facebook. It was a spur of the moment thing. I picked some frames that have little stars on them. I love stars. I considered it a sign. I was tired of thinking about it. By the way, my PD is 73, as best I can tell. I suppose I'll find out how accurate that was soon. They were cheap so if it doesn't work out it was worth the experiment. And there were stars. Did I mention the stars?

I worked on the article some. 

I unboxed the things I got at the cable company.

I watched some TV.

I worked on the article some.

I mentally debated the virtue of moving the TV setup to another location. Decided against it.

I printed the article to do some color coded editing.

I surfed. 

I posted the above photo on Twitter and Facebook, saying, "You know when the color coded editing starts that it's serious #writing."

I finished editing and decided I was very pleased with the article. I will read it with fresh eyes in the morning and then it will be on its way.

I felt a sense of relief I could have had hours earlier, but I might not now have a link to print a pupillary distance ruler. All of life is a trade off.

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Judith said...

I do hope your article got safely posted this morning. I knew there was a reason I liked you so much. It sounds just like what I do all the time.

Patsy Terrell said...

It made its way to the editor on time. I am not generally a procrastinator, but for some reason I had a block about that piece.