Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Guest BLOG post by Karen Crowdis, PWAC Calgary Chapter

When ideas are in abundance, they ricochet off each other in my head until I finally put fingers to keyboard and put them down. That’s what writers do after all. But there are times I face barriers to getting down to the business of writing. Some days that very simple act of transfer from brain to paper seems like climbing Everest.
I would like to climb Everest; literally and figuratively. The literal climbing of Everest is impeded by very simple things: finances to pull it off and an irrational fear of heights. At least I can day dream about it.
Figuratively, I sometimes face Everest with my writing. The large blank space and blinking cursor on my laptop mock me. Just finish the query letter, I plead with myself. Thirty minutes later, I’m still here, still a blinking cursor on a blank page while I try to sort out my thoughts. Maybe some tea will help.
Make tea, check the weather, turn on music, put away some kid’s toys, start a grocery list, put some laundry in, reheat the tea and sit back down at the computer. Sip my tea, burn my tongue. OK, I’m ready to get rolling....except that I didn’t eat anything. I should have a cookie.
For sure, now I am ready to get down to it. My ideas are like the pinball balls that never find their way to the next level. They are bouncing and rebounding in my head, one leading to another. Yet they cannot find their way out the neurons of my brain to my fingertips and onto my laptop.
Deep breath and stretch. Maybe walking the dog will help me focus. Yes, a bit of fresh air will help and the exercise won’t hurt—get the blood moving. Come back, reheat tea again and sit down. Notice the dishes weren’t done last night. I should really do that and then come back to the writing. But it is lunch time so I will just eat something first, then dishes, then writing! 
I start to wonder if I might have a mild form of attention deficit.
Finish lunch, clean up, put laundry in the dryer, dust and vacuum. I sit down and the writing comes more easily, things start to flow as the distractions are silenced. At a pivotal moment my phone buzzes and beeps at me to remind me that I have an appointment in 30 minutes and then have to pick up the kids. Log off; tonight I will pick up where I left off unless I get caught up in some campy ‘reality’ TV.
Every week, I get updates on colleagues’ activities. New, exciting projects and I am happy for them...and a bit green. I could be posting great updates to my LinkedIn profile.  If I just had more uninterrupted time, I console myself; I could do those things too. I have too many obstacles to my writing time.
It occurs to me that maybe I’m the obstacle. I should go look into that...


  1. THANKS for sharing this Karen - I am certain many writers face this dilemma and play the procrastination game ... the great thing about PWAC is that as professional working writers we have a coworker-like network across the country and we often keep each other motivated and on task through our forums and daily conversations on
    I welcome all PWAC members to send me Guest Blog Posts anytime.

  2. I get caught up in the same things as you do, Karen....thank you for sharing...and making me realize I am not alone...

    1. Karen D. Crowdis17 October 2012 at 19:42

      Glad you enjoyed it, Anne! One of the best things about PWAC is that even though we work alone in our offices, we are never really alone. Best of luck with your writing (and any distractions you give in to!;-D)

  3. I've got some work to do right now...yet here I am reading PWAC blog posts (and spending even more time responding to them). Hmmm, procrastination? Lack of motivation? Boredom?

    Nahhhh. I'm a writer. Reading these blogs is work-related. Yeah, this is all work-related.

    I enjoyed your article, Karen, and appreciated the comments left by Michelle and Anne. Yes, sometimes it's good to know we're not alone in our, ahem, sloth.

    Now, didn't you mention something about campy reality shows, Karen? Got any particular one in mind?

    On second thought, I'd better get back to work...

    -Andrea Tombrowski
    President, PWAC-Calgary chapter