Writer’s What?..

Calvin&HobbesThis is the definition of a writer according to this blogger:

A person who does not write.

A person who puts off something she loves to do, until later.

A person who finds other things to do instead.

I was describing this phenomenon to some friends I meet with once a month. A mixed gathering of non-writers of both sexes who meet to share experiences, talk, pray, and cry together.

We laugh together, commiserate over similar issues, roll our eyes. You could say it is a support group for life.

They often get my angst wrong; I view the world slightly off kilter; I don’t exactly fit into a box.

I’m English!

“It’s extraordinary how I can always find something else to distract me from writing,” I said.

“Writer’s block!” one of the men jumped in with.

I nodded but I did not completely agree. I had not dried up creatively.

The problem was I could not get my over active brain chained down for long enough to allow me to focus on the project at fingertip.

Encouraged by my nod, my self appointed analyst continued,

“Funnily enough, although I’m an engineer, I have discovered that I can write,” he paused and beamed at me.

I continued to nod encouragingly,

“Not only can I write, I’ve found that I enjoy doing it,” he was getting chummy now that he could relate.  He fixed me with a stare,

“And not only do I enjoy doing it,” the punch line was dangling and I was thinking, is he really going to say what I think he’s going to say?

“I’m really very good at it!”

Yep! He had shamelessly self-edified, and was giving his best imitation of a Cheshire cat this side of the Atlantic.

Well, I thought, no writer worth his salt would ever admit to being good, let alone, very good.

What I was trying to get across from my off kilter position was that when a deadline looms I suddenly find a million little things that just can’t wait to be attended to.

Capiche all you writers out there?

About a month ago a friend of mine asked me if I would like to do some free lance writing for her?

“I’m really quite happy with what I’m already doing at home,” I said, graciously.

In reality I didn’t really have an awful lot of anything to do and I was enjoying doing it.

But, she has her own business and needed a writer (me)  and she would not take “no” for an answer.

The title  “writer” won me over and she emailed me a packet.

“How much do you charge?” she asked, “by the word, by the piece, by the hour?”

“I have no idea,” I said and offered to do it for nothing.

“Too much work for nothing, I’ll pay you what I pay my other out sources. I need everything by the end of the week. You can keep the project to ten hours, right?”   Definitely not a question!

Adrenalin flowing I keyed in my single letter response,


I began typing like a mad thing and spent five solid hours, my eyes glued to my screen, on day one.

On day two my initial panic had subsided and I started doing this “writer’s thing” that I do that my group can’t grasp.

I found myself walking through the house methodically stopping along the way to pick up fluff off the carpet.


Then I heard the dryer buzz and instead of ignoring it (which I have trained myself to do), I walked calmly into the laundry room, emptied and folded the contents of the dryer, without calling for help.

I made it to my desk, took my seat but just as I was opening my laptop I persuaded myself that a cup of coffee would be a good transitioning activity.

From what to what?  You’ve got me there…

This time my gait was more of a trail, I’ll give myself that, and I wound my way to the kitchen to prepare a delicious pot of coffee without stopping once,

well all right, I put the TV remote away and re-arranged the sofa pillows…I stopped twice!

The coffee maker, automatic of course, required stimulating company while brewing and I was more than happy to dance a jig.

At the sound of the beep a fresh cup of aromatic, Columbian Blend found its way into my favourite Starbuck’s mug. To be fair coffee should not be squeezed between checking Facebook and a search for the perfect word in a thesaurus, so I awarded it my full attention.

I propped myself up against the kitchen counter and savoured the moment.

By the time I’d poured my second cup it had steeped enough to handle multi-tasking so I carried it back to my computer.

I stretched my body, flexed my fingers and glanced down at my keyboard.


I cleaned each key thoroughly then I peered at my screen, and oops, where did all those fingerprints come from? A quick swipe and I could clearly see the words .I was not writing.

I began to type.

I heard an irritating drip, drip, drip.  It seemed to be coming from inside the Eastern wall of my office, aka, the one right in front of my desk. After another wasted moment I realized that it was only the rain gutter doing its job.

Therein lies a lesson.

I needed to be doing my job.

What is a wordmonger to do?

What ails a person whose sole purpose for living is to lovingly craft hundreds of words but only when there is absolutely nothing else to do instead and perhaps an expectation awaiting her at the end of the week?

This is not Writer’s Block that manifests as the running out of inspiration; I had plenty of words waiting to be captured on my screen it was just taking me a while to get started…

This is Procrastination at its purist and simplest.

Let’s add another definition to writer shall we?

A writer is a procrastinator of the highest order.


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