March 19, 2017

Watch "Days" or Write by Eunice Matchett

I’ll do it tomorrow. I cannot stop watching this movie or toss my bowl of popcorn. Doing so would be wasting.

In these words, finding time to sit and write is over-the-top obvious, but in reality, it isn’t. Time has no boundaries. Yes, we have timepieces that inform us as each hour, minute, or second passes, but responsibilities and commitments do not adhere to a timeline.

Before I enter my writing sanctuary in the morning, I have routine chores needing to be completed. On a normal day, my domestic engineering duties eat up the better part of an hour. Sounds good. Lots of time left. Well, not quite. When I started, I didn’t notice a honking big hair ball stuck to the hardwood floor in the corner of the living room. Twenty minutes later, it’s cleaned up and disinfected, but I’m well over my assigned time.

Then, the phone rings. That wonderful piece of technology that keeps us all connected. What would we do without it? I could ignore it, but that grating voice coming through some part of the contraption is telling me the caller is my daughter, whom I can’t ignore. She’s in a talkative mood, and my last glance at my watch told me she’d been talkative for the last sixty-five minutes. When we finally said our goodbyes, my morning was spent.

I’m left with two options. My procrastinating personality screams turn on the television and watch “Days of your lives.” Your day is messed up already. You’re never going to climb into your writing frame of mind.  

I reach for the remote and my responsible personality whispers you need to write.

And the battle is on. Days or write? Days or write? My head doubles in size as my opposing personalities duke it out. Slowly, my responsible side wins, and I head for my desk.  

Before I do anything, I ask God for help me calm my scattered brains. Once peace settles over me, I open the document needing my attention and read what I’ve written. If it’s a novel, I read the latest chapter. Before I’m half way through, I’m pulled into my thought stream and my fingers itch to hit the keyboard. Most of the time.

Those times my brain remains stubborn, if it is summer, I leave my desk and work in a flower bed. Something in handling the soil brings my wayward thoughts back into focus. In winter, a brisk walk through snow-covered trees and bushes have the same effect.  

Temptation to procrastinate is a daily battle but it doesn’t have to win. Recognizing it and making positive steps is the beginning of defeating procrastination. If writing is a priority, there is always ways to outsmart the pesky time gobblers. They just need to be found.


  1. You certainly captured the essence of many of our daily lives, Eunice. On paper it all works out that we should have hours to write, but it only works on paper because we cannot account for which details you term 'pesky time gobblers' will infiltrate on a given day. Loved your barfy kitty story -- yup, know all about that. Enjoy your post!

  2. I chuckled when i read this because it sounds a lot like my life! for me its those HGTV home reno shows that do it! I finally just moved the TV downstairs and that seems to be working!

  3. Hi Eunice, your story about working in the soil is so true for me too. Anything relaxing like sure helps the ideas click into place.
    Pam M.

  4. We don't have cable so the television is not a temptation. We watch chosen DVDs at specific times (Murdoch right now), so that is okay. HOWEVER, sitting in my study, surrounded by projects and things to do, facing a computer screen that says "That important email may have arrived. No? Might as well clear out the dross while you're at it. Oh, look! FB! So many worthwhile writers! Oh, and another Submissions Wanted announcement. And humour. Need some humour. Must keep aware of life around you!..." And remember, you must complete those centerpieces for the GranAfrican Dinner! You promised you'd do it! ... surely, that is important!" And then there's quality time with your husband. "Oh, look, an email from our family tree person in England!" I'm well-disciplined when I'm on editing or writing contract work, but in those times in between, when countless opportunities tug at my mind, I tend to turn from my usual Myers Briggs J to a P and melt all over the floor. Look! a cough drop! I thought they were all gone. NO, cat! That's mine! Excuse me.

  5. Thanks, Eunice, for telling it like it is. My fellow procrastinating writers, we've been outed. While telling on yourself, Eunice, you told on me too. I am, however, glad you blew the whistle on us, because now we have to do something about this.


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