My brain has gone slightly off the rails.

I’d like to say that it is only my writing that has gone off the rails, but really, it’s my brain.

Please tell me that I am not the only one that has a hard time getting back into a routine after having deviated it for a week or more.

This sums up the way my writing has been going, except that I don’t think it is as much due to procrastination as it is to disorganization in my brain. Or maybe I’ve gone flighty. I don’t know,  but I’ve mastered this course:


Workspace organization is a BIG factor for me, because my brain cannot function in disorder on a good day, so when I’m out of my routine, a messy workspace means zero concentration, and I must clean. Which means I’ll need to file, and then I’ll find something I was supposed to do, and then…

The only thing that is missing is Facebook, with which I have a love/hate relationship. One minute I’m checking in with my blogging groups to try to do some sharing of the brilliance that THEY write, and the next minute I’m looking at videos of salsa dancing dogs.

Or I try to draft a post about the upcoming Tomorrowland movie, and somehow I go from featureless to videos of ear wax removal. (People in the UK really need to find something else to do than record people pulling gunk from their ears. Also, how did I get there?)

But the problem isn’t writing alone. It is MY ENTIRE LIFE.

A car pulls up across the street and it looks like our builder’s warranty manager’s truck. I panic because I think he is here, unannounced, again, and I’m still in pajamas, bra-less, makeup-less, with coffee breath. (Although he deserves all that if he is going to show up unannounced, but that’s something else entirely.)

Where was I? Oh, bra-less. So I dash to the bedroom to get dressed, and find…a full basket of laundry to be washed. So I go to the laundry room….where I find yesterday’s laundry, still damp in the closed washing machine. I reload the dispensers with detergent and fabric softener, set it to run (again), and get hit in the back of the knees with the tennis ball that the dog has thrown at me.

Yes, she can throw balls, and with good aim. Unfortunately, not well enough to throw to herself, but I’m working on that.


So after I finish getting dressed (because I was distracted by a pile of boxers) I go outside to toss her a ball, but it’s muddy, and soon enough my hands are dirty so I go inside to wash them off. Where I see last night’s dishes still sitting on the drying mat. I put them away. There. Now I can go back to writing.

And I sit down…and I see my library book. Actually, what I see is the receipt from the library, and when I look to see when it is due, I discover it was yesterday.

I’m not done with the book.

So I do what any self-respecting reader would do: I sit down to read some more, because it is a really good book and now my card is blocked so I can’t renew it, and I NEED to finish it before I return it. (Or check out another book until they are all checked back in, because my library is SERIOUS.)

[And I confess, when I get frustrated with the loss of control of my life and my general inability to focus, I do tend to bury myself in a book or five. I tell myself it is good for me, because good writers need to read, too. I should be a phenomenal writer if this was the case, or at least have more than half a chapter written.]

But really, my brain is like this:


My day continues like this, distraction upon distraction, until I realize that school got out 4 minutes ago. Thankfully, my son is patiently waiting for me (and daughter who spends exactly 22 seconds looking for our car before either hopping a ride home in the neighbor’s golf cart.)

I have become THAT mom.

The only thing that I DO function well with in these stages are ACTUAL deadlines – the ones for which I get paid for or that I have committed to outside the family (where my name isn’t mud).

Maybe that’s it: maybe I need to commit to a week of guest posts for other people – that would force me to sit down and write!  And if my son really wants me to run out and buy more GoGoSqueez for his lunch box, he just needs sign a commitment letter that he will fold all my laundry in exchange for prompt purchase.

Because, honestly, I would meet any self-imposed deadline if it meant not having to attack the clean pile in my laundry room.



Tell me: what do you do to get yourself back into a routine when you’ve broken yours?

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