One of the things I love most about working from home is that when things just aren’t happening for me on the creative side (i.e. my mind has gone feral), I can walk away from my computer to do something seeming irrelevant only to return with a refreshed mind – ready to focus on whatever I’m working on.
Let’s use yesterday as an example.
One of my projects this week is an article for an online publication. My research is done. The interview is done. The outline is done. All I have to do is write the piece, give it a suitable, keyword-rich title and voilà!
You. Would. Think.
For some reason yesterday (we’ll call that reason MONDAY) I was having a hard time getting my fingers to type out anything that didn’t sound like it was written by a third grade drop-out. So what do I do? I do what every writer facing writer’s block does: I decide to water the plants.
Now usually this is a great idea because while I’m away from my desk, the blank screen turns its attention onto something else and stops screaming at me – just long enough for my subconscious to do a back flip. By the time I sit back down at my desk my mind has shifted gears and suddenly the sentence, paragraph or thought I was struggling with comes out like softened butter.
Watching me struggle and possibly feeling sorry for me, the hamster decided that I needed a longer interruption from my bossy pants computer, hinting that maybe I could go cut the grass.
My thought on that? I can’t go cut the grass. I’m working!
Hamster: Um . . . no. You’re not. You’re staring at a blank screen.
So finally the hamster convinces me that cutting the grass is actually a brilliant idea with this thought:
“Just the front lawn. It’ll take ten minutes. Think of it as a brainstorming session.”
And so out I go to cut the grass on my front lawn only because the truth of the matter is that I HATE cutting the grass and the hamster is wise enough to break down this tedious job into small tasks (the sneak).
While I’m cutting the grass – which is actually hay at this point because I’ve been putting it off since spring – I’m thinking about my irreverence to this chore and suddenly it dawns on me:
THE REASON I HATE CUTTING THE GRASS IS BECAUSE I’M AFRAID OF THE LAWNMOWER.
Meanwhile, oh-wise-one Mr. Hamster is feeling smug because he thinks he’s just tricked me into facing a fear.
The truth is I was better off NOT knowing because let’s face it: what kind of moron is afraid of a lawnmower?!!!
Note to the hamster: Do NOT answer that.
Better to just hate the chore than realize that you’re afraid of it, right?
The good news is that by the time I came back to my desk – and after I looked up to see if there’s a medical term for the fear of lawnmowers (there isn’t) – finishing the article was a piece of cake.
Possibly because being afraid of an inanimate object (with a MOTOR) is ridiculous and I needed to accomplish something to feel less . . . incompetent.
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheddarcheez/2554792472/”>Cheddarcheez</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>