How to Avoid Writing Your Next Book
Writers and the daily struggle to create.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to write.
I love everything about it. The beauty of creating and connecting. Of wrestling with ideas and struggling to clarify exactly what I’m trying to say. Of finding the right word in the right moment. Of landing an absolutely perfect turn of phrase. Of knowing my books have made people laugh and think.
I just love writing.
Except when I don’t.
Because writing’s the worst.
It’s the early mornings and the late nights. The good ideas that only seem to come in the shower when I’m all soaped up and can’t possibly write anything down. The bleary mornings blinking at a glowing white screen and the late nights right before a book launch when I wonder why I ever thought this was a good idea in the first place.
Maybe I should quit writing and start keeping bees.
And between each project, that’s the exact struggle I face.
Do I really want to subject myself to this again?
Or do I want to do literally anything else in the world?
How To Avoid Writing Your Next Book
Finally clear your inbox.
Clean out the fridge, freezer, closets, and attic.
Dust all ceiling fan blades (plus every step on the wooden staircase) with a microfiber cloth.
Reorganize your bedroom closet, sorting first by color and then by length.
Pull all the books from your shelves and try different organizational patterns (first by size, then by author’s last name, dust jacket color, genre, publisher, and then maybe by publication date. Decide you liked it best how you had it in the first place.)
Learn how to home brew ginger beer.
Memorize Mozart’s Requiem in Latin.
Take all the quizzes on Buzzfeed. Write a series of open letters protesting the results.
Learn how to cut long grass with the scythe you found hanging in the garage.
Name the squirrels that frequent the back porch. Jot down their characteristics in a little notebook and keep it handy for easy identification.
Compile the definitive list of the major plot holes in all your favorite TV shows. Launch an online community to discuss them. Get so involved moderating the comments that you lose all sense of personal identity.
Plan a cross-country road trip that will hit every important landmark and author birthplace along the way (whether you actually take the trip is irrelevant).
Begin studying Russian so that you can finally read Tolstoy in the original.
Clean the grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush.
Learn to play the concertina so you can host a series of sea shanty sing-alongs and accompany everyone yourself.
Audition to be a contestant on Jeopardy!
Do not rest until you’ve reconnected with your favorite elementary school librarian.
Learn how to make your own soap.
Investigate the moon landing.
Sign up for a marathon.
Wallpaper the garage.
Vacuum the roof.
I’m not saying I’ve done these. But I’m not not saying I’ve done them.
Neither will I confirm nor deny whether working on this post is actually a ploy to avoid writing my next book.