Clawing a way out of the worst approach

My relationship with cleaning: It’s the same with my writing

This piece is not about how, when I try to push my nose to the writing grindstone, suddenly scrubbing mould off grout in the bathroom seems more exciting. It’s true, but nah.

This piece is about a trend I have noticed that connects my approach to housecleaning to my lack of progress on writing.

When this whole corona thing started, I wanted nothing more than to be locked at home. How much writing I’ll get done! I thought.

The “stay home” order came but the writing didn’t come.

This past weekend I thought would be my chance. Four full days of freedom from work (I’m so lucky to be able to work from home).

Instead, it was eminently more desirable to clean the storage room.

Yes, really. More appealing than doing what I claim I really want to do.

This storage room isn’t some small closet. No, it’s a room is the size of a small bedroom, half the height. It’s a handy place to throw anything you don’t know what to do with. And so I have done for ten years. It contained:

Boxes of my deceased sister's financial papers. Beautiful 50s linens for a someday art project. A suitcase holding the doll from my one-person play. Boxes of boxes. Book making tools. Boxes of writing that go back twenty years. Those kryptonite journals of my youth (too scared to go there). Chairs in need of fixing. 

Rather than write, I spent the entire weekend in there.

Now, this was not easy. Because of its height, I have to crouch when inside. Lugging this box out and that one back in. Rifling through papers. All hunched over or leaning down and very hard on this aging back.

The result of all this effort? More mess.

There is now a box of photographs I need to find a home for. Some clothing and household item donations need storing until those shops open again. And so on, et cetera.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to make a bird feeder using a cat litter plastic container and a piece of wood, so those thing are sitting behind me as I type.

Such is the state of my writing. I have multiple projects in the works. All of them in beginning stages. I get through a bit and then, I’m overwhelmed.

Finding focus. Staying there. Getting something accomplished. That would help me to set priorities. 

If I could sink my teeth into something, I might find my motivation. That is what I hope. That is what I’m working for. That is where I’m going.

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