The history of me is one of procrastination and perfectionism. It kept me from writing until well into my thirties. That black and white checkerboard floor in my Brooklyn apartment had to be just so before I’d pick up a pen. I also had to sew homemade toys for the children, take long walks to stay in shape and be up on the latest environmental news–before writing.
But that’s history, for the most part. I get enough exercise carrying 40 pound buckets of maple sap over slushy, uneven paths through the woods. The kids can make their own toys if they want to and for 15 years I’ve managed to write most days. My writing doesn’t pay bills or land me on talk shows. I still have to do most of my own editing and designing (with mixed results) but it sure is been fun.
This morning I felt put upon and antsy. The dogs splashed through every puddle on their morning walk (after I just bathed them), my daughter’s car broke down (so I have to drive her to work) and a friend in need called wanting a lunch date at a trendy coffee shop (and I have this foster kid meeting this evening that I just don’t feel excited about).
DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW I’M A SPOILED WRITER? When my husband went on the road for his high-stress job I felt sorry for him, but also figured before gardening this spring I’d easily edit all 4 books I’ve written, design the 4 covers and possibly start a new series. That didn’t happen of course. Occasionally I had to actually speak to family members and bond with them. I had to wash dogs and shovel snow. I secretly wished for no house guests and no sleep.
All of this set me up for trouble this morning as I nudged the dog (almost kicked) out of a muddy patch. Didn’t the dog know I was busy? I came in the house. I thought about the idol of performance. I read Charles Spurgeon and remembered how I got here; how I finally took up the pen in the first place. I didn’t set aside months in a cave as a hermit. I didn’t throw away relationships. I didn’t complain that if only I had a laptop . . . I just dipped my metal nib into the blue/black ink a little each day. After three pages I stopped. And I lived.