Working Around My Own Writer Weaknesses

This is a day I was not planning to go anywhere. My only workout is a yoga one at home, and I have no errands that need doing. Until 3:45, I just need to write. But.

There are several household projects calling my name. “Plant me,” whisper the annuals I just bought, as the deck planters glare emptily at me. “Paint me,” shout the upstairs bathroom walls. “Frame me,” call the photos I’m trying to organize for a family photo wall.

Usually, I’m pretty good at ignoring the voices. But our younger daughter, Maddie, comes home for a 5-week visit from Scotland in LESS THAN A WEEK! These projects need to be finished and cleaned up before then. Ugh.

Also, late this afternoon I have a two-hour session at a school, writing poetry with 5th graders! Yay! But I need to get organized for that. And I got feedback from my crit group yesterday on a brand new picture book draft, and I want to work on that while I’m feeling super energetic about it. And…well, lots of other work to do, as always, but those two things couldn’t wait.

So, I packed up my laptop and headed out. I walked at the gym for a bit and then went to McDonald’s. I fired up my trusty laptop and got completely ready for my school visit for two hours. And then I spent an hour on a new draft of my picture book. I feel wonderful!

Now, I’m back home and ready for the rest of my workday. On my 5-minute breaks, I might do a bit planting and such. And maybe my 5-minute breaks will stretch to 10 minutes (which happens too often, I admit, when I am doing something productive during the breaks). But I’ll know that I have at least done my two TOP priority writing tasks for the day.

I usually think I can write anywhere. And it’s true that I can write amid crowds and noise or all by myself in silence. But it’s taken me awhile to be perceptive enough to know that unfinished household projects–with deadlines–can occasionally wreak havoc on my writing plans. Maybe I would have gotten the same amount of work done at home this morning. But maybe not. So I’m not going to think of my outing as running away from responsibility but as running toward writing success.

Hope you’re all running in the same direction today!


About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
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2 Responses to Working Around My Own Writer Weaknesses

  1. And let’s not forget the dog who stares at us until we give in and go for a walk. I’m trying to be as productive as you are. Trying. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I am looking forward to some long writing days this summer, but I’ll have to beware of the call of household chores.

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