Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November Blog Chain: A Writer’s Survival List or My process

First let me say what a blessing these Absolute Writer Water Cooler blog chains are to me… And it is not just because they offers me a fun easy way to fulfill my once month posting commitment to the-romantic-query-letter either. Though, I’ll admit to that being a tiny factor for the most part it’s the lovely people I get to meet. You have all been very kind to Simone and I, so thank you. I'm last in the chain, directly before me was Truelyana at the full chain is listed at the end of the post. Here now for your reading pleasure, my post.

Procrastination the most consistent part of my process

1) Sunday, for instance… I rose with the sun at seven sharp. ‘I’m going to write today,’ I tell myself, but my bed is holding me hostage. Stubborn bed… it refuses to listen to negotiations, so I linger there until nine. But I’m still motivated. When I finally do get up, I go to make myself a pot of tea.

2) Earl Grey or Exotic Chai? Or something herbal? I go with the Earl Grey for the caffeine, I make a three-minute egg, and double-toasted bagel, smothered with real butter. Yum!

By now, it’s ten o’clock and I still haven’t written a word. I know you’re saying, ‘One hour for breakfast? She’s ridiculous.’ But in my defence, I took a phone call from my mother. Not that it’s an excuse, but she did give me life so I have to indulge her.

3) I’m at my desk now, pen and paper before me. The sun is out. I put on some music – to set the mood. I take a sip of my tea and decide against the Earl Grey.

I return to the kitchen to boil the kettle. I’ll have some of the herbal tea instead.

So while I wait for the tea to brew, I call my sister, but I’m sure to tell her, right off, that I’m not able to talk long, what with my having to write and all.

4) At noon, I’m back in front of the desk, yet again. I’m ready to write but I’m pre-occupied with something my sister said. I drink my tea to calm my distracted mind. It works, only now I’m too calm.

I wish now, and not for the first time mind you, that I was more of a coffee-drinker, and contemplate going out to get a cup. We’re not really coffee-drinkers around here and we usually get our coffee from the outside.

I’ve all but dismissed this as wasteful, when my sweetie pops his head inside the door, back from his run and has come to entice me to join him in the shower. I resist for about ten seconds.

5) It’s two o’clock. I’m eating an apple and leftover Chinese from the fridge while my sweet distraction switches on his laptop and gets to work. I glare at him with hatred and a little self-loathing.

I hate that he’s able to focus on his task while I chatter on and still have yet to write. So I eat his portion of the Chinese food out of spite before returning to my writing desk with yet another cup of tea.

I’m uncomfortable. I’ve eaten too much.

I have to walk around for a spell you understand…

I can’t stand the sight of Mr. Discipline at his laptop, diligently working, so I drag on some proper clothes and go for a walk.

It is important to note though, that I’m only going for as long as it takes for me to feel comfortable again.

6) I run into Simone while out. She swears she told me she was going to be in my neighborhood. I can’t remember that. She invites us to dinner.

I pop home to shower and change. Even my disciplined sweetie decides to abandon his reports for dinner at Simone’s for no one can resist her pasta bake and triple chocolate brownie.

7) By eight o’clock, I’ve enjoyed enough wine and food to make me languid with contentment and we’re now helping Simone clean up the kitchen. I tell her how I’d planned to write all day.

She laughs.

I never really liked her.

Then she says, ‘What were you planning to write?’

I told her about the November blog chain on my writer’s survival list. She tells me that I should write about how procrastination is a great part of my process.

I’m furious with her for pointing this out and I tell her so. She apologizes and says, ‘Alright. What will you write?’

I say that I will do as she says for it is a good idea, not to mention a part of my process.

Everyone laughs, myself included.

8) When I get home, I make myself another cup of tea and set myself down in front of my desk. And fall promptly asleep.

This, I wrote in a dead panic, maybe twenty minutes ago, during lunch for tonight there is a staff meeting, them I have yoga and a late dinner with my sweetie. Oh and a deadline, that is imperative or I get nothing done.



DavidZahir -
shethinkstoomuch -
Lost Wanderer -
aimeelaine -
Ravencorinncarluk -
Bsolah -
Charlotte49ers -
Angyl78 -
truelyana - Claire Crossdale -


  1. Hilarious :) :)

    I particularly love the part where you tell your sister you're too busy writing to talk for long :)

    I find I have to start first thing in the morning--FIRST THING. If I wait... I risk everything. *sounds of doom* :)

  2. Very entertaining. I work much better when I'm away from the distractions of home. Particularly when I take one child or another to lessons.

  3. LOL I absolutely loved this! You're a procrastinator after my own heart. :-)

  4. Dear Claire,

    I enjoyed reading your process very much, as it takes us to your life and the reality of being a writer under all that goes on in a day to day basis. (Well a sunday one in this case, and a very enjoyable and creative one in the end)

    I like that the day wore out by it's own experiences and that despite you wanting to write in the first place, the day took it's own route and I think you still very much enjoyed it nonetheless. :)

    Have a blissful yoga session and a wonderful late dinner with your sweetie. All the best with your deadline too. I am sure you will do just fine.

    It is a great pleasure returning to your blog. :)

  5. I believe that your day is not unlike many writers. Writing is a process, with procrstination and languishing in simple pleasures an important part of the process. I believe writing is not like reporting the news of the day,which is hard, fast, deliberate and intense. I see writing as more of a love affair, each scene, each sentence, each phrase an interlude of delight, of evolution, of drama, of romance and much more. Such characteristics need to ne nurtured indeed. Thank you for making me smile.

  6. This was fun. It looks like this month's chain is going good.

  7. Absolutely love your list! ;) You write with such expressiveness and clarity. I could just picture everything you did to avoid sitting down with pen and paper. ;)

  8. Why, all this love for little old me. Thank you darlings, it’s been my pleasure.

  9. :) What a great way to spend a Sunday! I'm all for procrastination. I for one get a lot of done during the week (it seems you do too) and then when it's Sunday I just don't seem to be able to force myself to do anything I planned that doesn't involve fun and leisure.

  10. Meaning absoloutely no offense to anyone else, this is my favourite post (even more than my own). You have written it so brilliantly, expressed what we all go through, but also made it such fun to read, I loved it. :)

    And the part about joining sweetie in the shower...mmm...should we look forward to your own romantic adventures in your books? ;)

  11. GREAT post! And hilarious because I've had hundreds of days just like that one. I say "I'm going to write, I'm going to write, I'm going to write . . ." like a mantra and then I end up doing absolutely nothing.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog, too - nice to meet you! Just got back from a big research trip. Hmm, sometimes I'd rather research than write, it's way more fun.

  12. this is fun!! .. You can Imagine how much I love the portraits on your blog! lovely blog!

  13. And still more love for me. I'm so going to post more from now on. I'm so happy you are all able to relate to my process, it makes me feel like a part of a whole.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs and Kisses,

  14. Wonderful. You've completely captured the romantic writer's spirit, and all in merely telling the truth.

    I laughed at your sweetie enticing you to the shower...who could resist (I never can mine). And then glaring at him when he's disciplined enough to work. Priceless.

    Happy writing... *wink*

  15. oh no Sweetie! I think you were just not meant to write that day. Somedays good intentions are just that, good intentions. Try again tomorrow and no phone calls. When my mom calls it's always a 20 minute conversation, so I understand completely.

    Very funny :)

  16. Oh dear. Well, you may not have written anything but at least you're clean and well-fed...

    Thanks for visiting mine!

  17. You have all been wonderful, Simone and I are happy to have all your support. Thank you and have a brilliant weekend.
    Hugs and kisses,
    Claire and Simone

  18. I can really identify with your problems around procrastination. Procrastination is actually part of my working process. I tell myself that at least the lost hours are used to meditate and plan about the work that will eventually start in a rush in the evening.

    Thanks you so much for your vist to my blog and the lovely remarks you made. It is wonderful to receive such encouragement when you've been having a few of those "what's the point anyway" days.

    A book I've loved recently was Desperate Romantics - The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites" by Franny Moyle.

  19. Hi Valct4joy.
    There is a sort of melancholy to your twilight hour photos but it was precisely what I was feel so take heart for we all have a few of those day.
    I've never read anything by Ms. Moyle but I'm all about the Desperate Romantics and the Raphaelites whether it be 'pre,' post or during.
    All my very best and you take care.

  20. lol.
    , Claire, I have to agree this is one of my favorite posts. Good itentions are the best and sometimes the day has others plans for us. Much, I would think, like some characters we create.

  21. Very enjoyable! That's how my Sundays tend to look--complete with tea and pen and paper. I procrastinate far too often.