I had big plans for this week. I was going to be crazy productive. I was going to stockpile some blog posts, spend some time on Twitter looking for new people to follow, catch up on blog reading, write two chapters of my book, email people I met at blogher, and finally deal with my ever growing slush pile. Instead, this is what I’ve accomplished:
• Found a new pizza place in my neighborhood that I think is far superior to the one we currently frequent.
• Purchased stovetop espresso maker.
• Attempted to make a latte.
• Failed in attempt to make a latte.
• Watched an anxiety-provoking episode of Grey’s Anatomy (or maybe three).
• Confirmed that new pizza place is definitely superior.
In other words, I have done nothing productive, and as a result I feel awful. The “big deadline” is looming ever closer, and I can’t afford to waste a single day. I’ve worked with writers for a long time, I know we all need and deserve breaks, so this begs the question, “why can’t I follow my own advice?” As of Monday at 11 a.m. it was clear that I needed a break. I was showing all the classic signs! Opting to vacuum instead of sitting down to write, making lists of household tasks that I somehow convinced myself couldn’t be put off a single second longer. Vacuuming the curtains? Really? When I finally did try to write, it took me about 45 minutes to write one truly terrible sentence. So why did I insist on torturing myself? Why couldn’t I do what I would tell other writers to do, which is quite simply TO GIVE IT UP FOR AWHILE? I mean, the world is not going to come crashing down if I watch a couple of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Nor is it a total disaster if I decide to see a movie, read a novel or eat more pizza. What is a waste of time, is making myself miserable and forcing myself to work when clearly everything I do right now is just not going to work.
Today I finally did it. I went out and got a couple of new books, went out for coffee and read like a regular human being. I didn’t feel guilty, I just enjoyed myself. I had a decent latte, and you know what? I’m pretty sure that when I write this afternoon it’s going to turn out just fine.