Code Red: Avoidance

If avoidance had a color it would be red. Red alert. WAH. WAH. WAH.

Avoiding talking about the state of your bank balance with your spouse.

Avoiding going to the doctor with that chest pain.

Avoiding thinking about how much you are drinking.

Avoiding your journal.

Fortunately, I am not avoiding my journal (not today, anyway) but I am writing this post right now in full-blown avoidance of writing down my goals. Career goals. Writing goals. Why on earth?! I’m so excited about my future. I can see it so brightly I almost do need those shades. I know I am going to be successful.

But it’s not my journaling workshops and instruction that I’m worried about. It’s my writing.

My writing has been put aside, as it has through every other excuse I’ve come up with: Working, New Mom, Just Moved, Course Work… and I wonder why I haven’t been published more than I have. Kind of hard to publish something that isn’t written. Duh.

I have been swamped with ideas lately. Essays, memoirs, even a book (something I was convinced I would never want to commit to). If I put my toddler in daycare for 30 more hours, hired a housekeeper, found a mistress for my husband, and stopped pushing myself into people’s faces trying to convince them they need to write, then I could write to my little heart’s content. Man, there’d be no stopping me!

But that’s not my life and nor will it be if I don’t get those goals down on paper. I know that once you write down your dreams they have a way of sneaking in and coming true, sometimes when you’re not even paying attention. I have to ask myself why I’m scared to become a Writer (and by that I mean a Writer who May or May Not Get Paid for Their Efforts but Whom People Read and May Actually Notice the Byline).

I do think that I continue to sabotage myself. I am scared of success in the one area that I am the most passionate about. Yes, I want to teach journal-writing. I believe in that and I love that I can help others find healing in their writing.

But my writing is about me. All about ME. And what does it say about me if I fail?

At being me?

Red Alert! WAH. WAH. WAH.


4 thoughts on “Code Red: Avoidance

  1. Really enjoyed your post – I agree with you, what us female writers could do with most? a wife!

    please come and visit me at mine. Any comments welcome! I will be back soon


  2. I have a difficult time getting in some writing time. I’m getting better at it though. I start with a goal of writing 1000 words a day. When I only get to write, say 400, I am not disappointed. Even 250 words are something to feel proud of. Good luck with finding time!

    Visiting from MBC.

    • Yes, a wife… that’s definitely what I need!

      Flory, trouble is, if I start writing something I. cannot. stop. ! I ignore everyone and everything… the house could be burning down and i wouldn’t notice. Flow. But maybe that is what I need to try to overcome and learn to write in spurts… for everyone’s sake!

      Thanks for your comments – please do return!

  3. Joanna –

    I do get understand a lot of your sentiment. I do find it a tad bit easier now to write knowing I have 1.5 hours 3 days a week to write something. When I’m gripped by that flow…it’s incredibly hard to break from it…and I’ve got one eye on the clock while I try to finish things. I tend to be late picking up my kids from school, because I get into that flow.

    And yes, that damn housework. Necessary evil that it is. I find that some of my best ideas come to me when I’m doing the dishes…why that is I’ll never know. So I’ve been taking to keeping a notepad by the sink. I’ll stop whenever I MUST write something down, so I don’t lose the idea, rather than stopping the dishes in order to go off on a tangent. At least my dishes will be done then. (though I so wish they made waterproof paper).

    I wrote one of my recent posts outside, while I was playing with my dog. She was needing some company and I needed to quiet the voice in my head. So I sat down with my notebook and started writing…and occasionally throwing the dog her toy. I got about 2 pages of writing then had to stop because I got stung by a bee. It slowed down my writing, but I was able to return to it after I gave myself some first aid.

    It’s probably one of my better stories (in my mind anyway) because it was a narrative about some deeply personal stuff.

    Fit it in when you can, wherever you can. Keep your journal out when you fold the clothes. Do one load of folding, then write notes about something you want to elaborate on later. Don’t necessarily write full thoughts out. You can flesh them in later. You just don’t want to lose those ideas. Even if you don’t attend to them right away, you’d have the basics and you could revisit it later.

    I’ve been taking my camera and my journal when I go pick the kids up from school. If I’m early, I’ll sit and write notes while I wait. Sometimes my pictures will inspire something I want to write about.

    Since it’s becoming fall, maybe start crock-pot cooking…so that you throw everything in the pot in the morning, and by 5 pm, you have dinner ready to dish out. That’s one less thing to do.


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