Not really…writing is my life, and it stays above everything else. So that means that if I am not actively engaged in writing/blogging/photographing/researching…but pursuing any other interests, time is spent on avoidance of the thing I want to do most.
What else is there?, you ask.
Well, there is gardening, which involves good intentions, wishful thinking, jungle-conditions, drought, over-watering, lack of energy, and weeds. I don’t really enjoy the labor parts of gardening any more, because my poor knees refuse to cooperate…once I’m down, getting back up is painful chore.
There is Beading, which is something I really enjoy. I love beads (boy, do I love beads…I never met a bead I didn’t like) but one of the joys of making lovely things from beads is playing with the beads: sorting them out by color and/or size, admiring the vast array of shapes and possibilities for projects. Related to manipulating the beads themselves, is reading books about beading…bookmarking specific examples of fabulous creations that are, 1. too difficult, 2. too time-consuming, 3. too expensive to make, or 4. on second or third look at the project–ugly.
Crocheting is another thing I like to do. Choosing yarn, buying yarn, combining colors, finding the right crochet hook…deciding which stitch to use for a certain project, ripping out mistakes… One of the main things I like about crocheting is that it is relatively compact, the project consists of only the yarn, crochet hook, and the scarf-in-progress, in a bag to hold the lot.
I say scarf because scarves are the only thing I make and actually complete. Oh yes, I make hats, but they are usually not any that anyone would wear. Once I was going to make a gorgeous full-length evening cape of dark blues and purple variegated yarn. Let’s just say that project fizzled out due to the enormity of it, intricate stitch, and the realization that I would never wear it because it would have looked dumb. Who wears evening capes to the grocery store?
Then there are my books. I am an online book dealer, and have a couple of thousand books listed and organized numerically (according to date sequence, so they can be found quickly.) Invariably the particular book that I have an order for is lost, misplaced, or hiding. Really I almost always locate the book in question fairly quickly, and get it out to the person who ordered it the same day.
To be fair, and accurate, I must say that my books operation is very close to Writing at the top of my list of things to do. For one thing it makes a small contribution to my over-all state of reality on the brink of poverty, and provides a certain satisfaction at the existence of this business that I have created and maintain single handedly. (Except for my son, who takes the packages to the mailbox, and my dear mail-lady, who whisks them away for their travels to far distant reaches of the book market in the United States.
Much more satisfying to me personally is my personal book collection. I have thousands of books of my own, noteably History classics, and books on virtually every country of Latin America. But I could easily digress here into book-heaven. Yesterday I went downstairs and retrieved my big binders containing every notebook (and exams) from every course I ever took. That includes my unpublished doctoral dissertation, which was what I was really looking for yesterday.
Talk about diversion…I spent two hours going over my notes from every class I took at the Community College twenty years ago–classes in United States History, World History, Sumerian History, World Civilizations… and I was much intrigued by this information.
So to make a long story shorter, all of the time I was fighting the cobwebs downstairs holding my bookshelves together…I had this nagging feeling I get from procrastination of the one thing that I really really want to do, which is to WRITE.
I have decided to publish some of my things that I wrote back in the day. However, one of the drawbacks is that although everything I wrote was done and printed out with my computer. I am afraid that the originals of these works of art are on discs and floppies that I may not be able to access. So…I may have to scan some paper copies into my computer, or YIKES, type/keyboard stuff in.
Thank goodness I am a luddite that still believes in paper…reams and reams of it…and never throw anything away. I won’t bore anyone here with my far-out views on the safety of preserving things on cyberspace. Not here, anyway. 🙂
One thought on “What to do when Not Writing”
I am totally with you on gardening. Our wicked wisteria is going to be the end of me yet. Your book business sounds interesting, although I wouldn’t be tempted myself. It’s all about WRITING! for lots of us. I was defending my lack of time to a friend, and it came out that I choose to spend nearly all of my time writing. I did a transcription job for precisely the reason that is threatening you. I had all the letters I wrote the two years we lived in England, but I couldn’t access them on floppy discs. History major Husband had them all saved in a box, and I retyped them. It wasn’t as painful as you might think, because I was continually surprised by the memories.
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