What I Did When I Wasn’t Writing: Week 2

For the sake of brevity, let’s shorten What I Did When I Wasn’t Writing to WIDWIWW from now on. By the way, my all-time favorite acronym is IITYWYHM: If I tell you, will you hug me?

April 20th, 2016: 
The day started off promisingly enough–I did my yoga practice in the morning, which required that I get up a full 35 minutes before getting dressed and ready for work. Then, after work, I scrounged up some leftovers and fruit from the fridge to eat while I had my weekly FaceTime date with my parents. I called them 15 minutes earlier than usual in hopes that the call might end approximately 15 minutes earlier than usual. It did not. And after we hung up, I decided the dishes in the kitchen sink needed doing. And that in order to do them, I required beer (as well as my dish-washing gloves, but I always need those because I have texture issues and dishes are bad enough without adding vomit into the equation) and Melanie Martinez on Spotify. Once the dishes were done I declared that my motivation bar was at about -22 as I packed the necessities for an overnight stay at the boyfriend’s. I then managed to spit out one hundred and fifty words (words that I ended up cutting and pasting into a separate word document far away from my precious WIP).

April 21st, 2016:
You’d think a girl would learn. Two poor word count days in a row. But, admittedly, this time I didn’t even try. Again the day started out promising: I got to wake up next to my boyfriend, go on a field trip with the kindergarten prep kids to the Seattle Central Library, and there was even a fucking taco bar for lunch! I also got approximately seven compliments on my Cats on Saturn dress, which makes me feel like Jessica fucking Day every time I wear it. My last job made me feel like Betty Draper at best.

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I finished my work day with infants, where I witnessed my first baby blowout. And about an hour later, I witnessed my second baby blowout; I’d just changed the little guy’s diaper about half an hour before and he was now comfortably in my lap drinking up his bottle. I repeat: he was now comfortably in my lap. Luckily, my dress wasn’t a casualty, but I still couldn’t help thinking about how I didn’t pack a change of clothes (like we early education teachers are advised to do just in case) and would’ve had to ride home that way on public transit. Granted, I probably wouldn’t have been the worst smelling person onboard.

By the time I got home (my bus was late!) I had a headache and just enough time to feed my cat and grab something to eat myself before therapy. But then Sawyer ate his cat food entirely too fast. I know this because he then jumped up on my bed immediately after and puked on my blanket, which I had no way in hell of laundering because I was out of quarters and time. So I caught a bus to my therapy appointment (with five minutes to spare!). My therapist’s office is conveniently located next to Walgreens, where I used my five spare minutes to buy two bags of Haribo gummy bears and a chocolate bar.

Fortunately, therapy redeemed at least some of my day: when I got home, I did my yoga practice for the day (it helped that it was a shorter practice: 21 minutes) and made a healthy, nutritious dinner. Then I dumped the healthy, nutritious dinner into a Tupperware container, put it in the fridge, made enough mashed potatoes for four people, drenched them in Ranch dressing, and ate them with my fingers in front of the TV (Netflix, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) followed by an entire bag of gummy bears.

And I still call myself a writer.


What I Did When I Wasn’t Writing

Back in March, I earnestly began writing my latest WIP. I even made a fancy spreadsheet in which I keep track of my daily word count–because my goal is to write every day. Note: my goal is not to write for an allotted amount of time per day nor is it to write a certain amount of words per day. It’s simply to write something, anything on a daily basis. (Preferably towards my WIP, but hey, words are words/practice is practice.)

March ended with a total of eleven days in which I wrote absolutely nothing. Nada. Zero.

I highlighted each day in red, which Excel already has conveniently labeled as “Bad” with a capital-B. (To be fair, I also highlighted the one day I wrote more than 1,000 words in green for capital-G “Good.”)

Why didn’t I write a goddamn thing during those eleven days? Life, I guess.

So I excused myself, and on April 1st I wrote 1,000 words! (Not of my WIP, though. I wrote part of this, which at least does a pretty good job accounting for why I didn’t write at all on caucus Saturday.) On April 2nd, I wrote a whopping zero words. Even though it was a fucking Saturday, and I don’t have a day job on Saturdays. But on April 3rd, I managed to put my butt in chair and also decided to set my alarm clock for 35 minutes earlier than usual to begin a 30-day yoga challenge on a Monday morning. I even tweeted about it Sunday night in order to hold myself accountable (which probably worked mostly because Adriene of Yoga with Adriene liked my tweet/tweeted at me in return).

April 4th – April 18th: 15/15 days of yoga.
April 1st – April 18th: 16/18 days of writing.

But honestly, it’s more like 14/18 days of writing, because any word count of less than 250 words (approximately one full published page) really makes my soul hurt, because writers write, dammit!

So here’s where this blog comes in: When I don’t write, I have to blog to the Internet about why I didn’t write. On Monday. Because Mondays.

Forget about March. (I already have! Repression > Depression, amiright?)

Let’s start with April!

April 2nd, 2016: 
What was I doing when I wasn’t writing? I ate brunch at a diner like a white girl with my boyfriend. I even wore yoga pants. I ordered quiche and fruit. And a cinnamon roll. Naturally the waiter came back and told me they were out of cinnamon rolls, because for some reason restaurants are out of what I first order approximately 90% of the time. I ordered coffee cake instead. Then I ate half of my boyfriend’s potatoes. Then I had to pick up rugs I ordered for my kitchen and bathroom because the UPS men refuse to dump things on my porch when I’m not home even though I’d much rather risk mail theft than inconvenience myself by visiting a UPS Access Point. Next, we drove out of the city to find a place to hike because it was sunny and not raining and Saturday, which was the same idea pretty much everyone else in the Pacific Northwest had.

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Sure, it was a zero word count day, but it was also a zero regrets sorta day.

Later, we ate burgers and milkshakes and watched Zombeavers on Netflix (69% on rotten tomatoes).

April 8th, 2016: 
We had a “Spring Fling” event at work, which meant I had to stay an hour late before commuting home. Which was totally cool because they bribed us with food (even though the tacos definitely had cilantro in them and incidentally I had to pop an antihistamine after eating) and BUNNIES (even though they pooped everywhere, no shame)! But after all that I had to wait around for a bus, and when I got home at 7:45 p.m. I tuned into Netflix, started up The Secret Life of the American Teenager, made myself a cup of chocolate chai on the stove, ate three bars of chocolate, and promptly fell asleep on the couch by 8:30 p.m. When I woke up an hour later, I managed to wash my face before dragging myself to bed where I officially fell asleep for the night.


As for the not-quite-0-word count days:

April 10th, 2016:
The boyfriend and I woke up early and headed out to a tulip festival at Mt. Vernon, where we watched everyone in Tulip Town crouch in between the rows and take pictures with selfie sticks. Except me. I took pictures of those people. And then in the gift shop I actively resisted buying lavender everything by buying edible things that aren’t flowers and pretty coasters that aren’t really coasters because they’re meant to hold things like tea bags and earrings. Back in Seattle, we stopped at Fred Meyer to buy baking ingredients for cookies. It was my second time in a Fred Meyer in my whole life. Can you say sensory hell? I almost had an anxiety attack. You see, I was already having an anxiety day, because it was also Meet-The-Boyfriend’s-Parents day. Not just parents. Family. Just the whole family. No big deal. NBD. *cough* Ahem. Yeah. I nearly took off with the platter of cookies to some place where I could hide and stress-eat them.

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April 12th, 2016: 
My roommate texted me about ten minutes before I got home to say that a friend of a friend was coming over to cut her hair. So our living room became a salon, and I retreated to the kitchen to make dinner. I sometimes cook things that don’t require a microwave and aren’t Hot Pockets. Dinner involved fresh vegetables, blood orange olive oil, and quinoa. Ignore the fact that two years ago I didn’t know what quinoa was (is that a type of fish?) or how to pronounce it. I ate three-fourths of my dinner at the kitchen counter and finished the rest of it in the living room while attempting to be social. With a migraine. Did I mention I also had a migraine? Because I did. And then I did my yoga practice (which seemed to help the migraine) and the boyfriend came over for about 20 minutes because we missed each other after one whole day/are disgustingly cute (and he tried to take credit for relieving my migraine, ha!) and then I took a hot bath that looked and felt like magic. Not just magic. Sorcery.

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Blogger’s Note: I don’t advise shaming yourself for not writing, or not writing enough. Whatever enough means. This article does an excellent job of explaining why.