Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just freakin' do it (+special announcment)

First, a special announcement:
Head over to Candyland’s blog to hear how she's raising money for the women of Ghana, West Africa. You can get your mitts on some terrific prizes, including autographed books, agent consultations, and author critiques. The money goes to a great cause, and participants include my amazing agent Michelle Wolfson (who’s offering up a 30-minute phone consultation) as well as my wonderful critique partner Cynthia Reese (who is joining forces with yours truly to offer a tag-team critique of a partial manuscript…something she explains beautifully on her blog today).

Go click the links, and GET INVOLVED!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post…

So you know how I love to cook, right?

And you know how I’ve bragged about the number of cookbooks I own and recipe sites I frequent?

Now I’m going to show you my dirty little secret. You ready?

This is the cupboard that holds it:

Scary, isn’t it?

It’s a mess on many levels, but the worst of it is the mountain of recipes clipped from newspapers or printed from online sites. Each time I open that cupboard, I risk death by avalanche. Sometimes I go hunting for a recipe and get so tired of looking for it that I change my mind and eat tater tots. I’ve got at least a dozen more cookbooks scattered in rooms where no cooking can take place.

I need to get organized.

Funny thing is, I bought all the supplies to do that almost seven months ago. I’ve got a binder for the loose recipes, and little plastic sheets to keep them sorted. I know where most of the missing cookbooks are and could easily round them up.

So why haven’t I done it?

I could come up with a million excuses, some of which might be pretty creative. But the fact is, I’ve been procrastinating because I don’t want to do it.

I’ll admit, I’ve been known to do this in my writing, too. Even though I’m nearing the end of LET IT BREATHE, there’s still some research I need to do to round out one of the subplots. There are still a couple scenes I’m dragging my feet on writing. There’s no compelling reason I haven’t done these things, except I don’t wanna (which isn’t a very compelling reason, not even if I whine it).

Do you do this to? Do you have tasks that really wouldn’t take much effort, but you put them off a ridiculously long time? If so, join me in making a pledge to just freakin’ do it already. Clean that cupboard, organize that junk drawer, or tackle that annoying scene in your manuscript.

Tell me what you’re procrastinating and then pledge to get it done in the coming week. We’ll all report back here next week to brag about what we've accomplished and pat each other on the back for our progress. Deal?

Unless I’m killed by a paper avalanche.

24 comments :

Kelly Breakey said...

Procrastination only rears it's ugly head when it comes to paying bills. I just hate to part with my money but thanks to banking on line I can pay today and tomorrow it's done. This way I can hold on to my George's (notice I didn't say Benjamin's here) just a little longer.

Jeannie said...

I hate cleaning my room. I sound 15, don't I? I really do. My bedroom is a mess. The rest of my house, my office...neat and organized. Not my room and especially not my closet. So I guess I have to get it done now, huh?

Linda G. said...

Well, I would join you in your worthy cause, but...I don't wanna. ;) *runs away*

Seriously, I sooo need to do some organizing around here. Maybe I will try to join you. No vows on my part, though--I only promise what I can deliver, and there are no guarantees with this one!

Candyland said...

Oh yes! I'm the same way. Stupid stuff like the bill organizer that's overflowing with bills I paid and random crap. I look at it everyday and think "hey I need to clean that" and then I walk away.

Thanks for the plug! Donations are starting to come in! I'm so thankful for all your help.

Jess Tudor said...

I'm procrastinating writing my new mss ... but even if I buckle down I don't think I can do it this week, but at least make a consistent dent, no? :)

Karla Nellenbach said...

Sure, I'll join you...er, maybe tomorrow :)

Posey said...

My husband is going to love you. I guess I'll tackle those two storage containers that are on top of my filing cabinet. I might even develop those under water cameras from 2006 that are in there.

Delia said...

That's it? That's your mess? Oh, honey, if that was my mess, I'd be having people over and showing off how clean my house is. You have no idea.

I procrastinate everything (see my blog), but I'm working on it. One day at a time, just like all the other addicts.

Danica Avet said...

Okay, in my "professional" life, I'm organized to OCD proportions. When I work, I organize and file and keep everything neat and tidy. I've had people ask me to help them organize because "you're better at it than I am."

But, in my private life and writer's life, I have no organizational skills. I have bills all over the house, books here, books there, notes in this notebook that continue to that notebook and also in that folder.

I think I just spend all of my organizational powers at work and go "blah" when I get home. That's fine with me because even though it looks like a mess, I do know where everything is. Or at least I can find it...eventually.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Hey! My red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook ALSO lost its spine! I had it for years before it did this! Clearly shoddy engineering.

Yeah I put off organizing all the time. I'm not much of a housekeeper. I don't believe that life is about housekeeping.

Tawna Fenske said...

Kelly, OK, so are you committing to paying your bills? And mine, too, while you're at it?

Jeannie, you raise an interesting point...I do an OK job of keeping the rest of my house reasonably tidy, but my room (which no one but Pythagoras & me usually sees) is always the messiest. Why is that? I mean, I KNOW why that is, but I should be nicer to myself and make sure I have a clean room. Hmm...blog post for another day.

Linda G, you've gotta pick a small task, like a cupboard or a drawer. Something achievable. And don't forget your towel!

Candyland, Oh good! I'm glad the donations are flowing. I'll have to mosey over myself and drop some cash.

Jess, keep the goal small, like maybe you'll write a certain scene or chapter or something like that.

Karla, *dragging you back by the hair* Come on, young lady...pick your task and let's get going!

Posey, ugh, I think I have one of those underwater cameras, too! I'm not even sure which trip it's from. Barbados? Mexico? Hawaii? Fiji? No clue, and I suspect I won't know even after I develop it. A fish is a fish, yanno?

Delia, well, that's not my ONLY mess. It's one of many. It's just one that should be really easy to tackle, but somehow I never get around to it.

Danica, I know exactly what you mean! When I was in college, I cleaned hotel rooms to make extra cash. The last thing I wanted to do when I came home was make my freakin' bed.

Sierra, too funny! The spine on that thing barely lasted the first year I owned it. I do love that cookbook though. One of my favorites (which is saying a lot, considering how many I own).

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Lynda Elkin said...

After seeing that pic I'm itching to come organize for you. I'm salivating at the thought of unopened binders and protective plastic sheets! (from what I know of you that sounded dirty)! I'll tell you what, I'll come organize your cupboards and you can write my book for me.

tt said...

I have too many too list!! However I can't seem to get on it and get Sara, my female lead, out of Sacramento and on the road to Florence. See Florence is where the love interest shows up and I just wanna get there! I've even written a few scenes ahead. I pledge to get her out of Sacramento by next week!

KD Writes said...

I'm in the midst of clearing out 45 years of crap from my mom and dad's basement. And I can't procrastinate this time because contractors are scheduled to be here to repair the leaking walls in a couple of weeks. I wish I could put it off, but this time I'm under the gun. In the mean time, my room is a disaster.

karenft said...

I have a similar problem with my cupboard of plastic storage containers. I sat down one afternoon about a year ago and organized everything by size. I threw out anything that didn't have a matching lid, and put the lids, by shape (round or square) in plastic bins.

That lasted about a week, until my son came home from college with all sorts of mismatched containers he'd been hoarding all year. And then my daughter gave me a whole new seat of containers, the lid system that is supposed to attach to the bottoms. They were lovely, but now there wasn't enough room in the cupboard for everything.

I haven't had the heart to tackle it again. In fact, I don't even open the cupboard anymore--I've taken to storing items in a big plastic crate that sits on the counter.

But now the crate is getting too full.......

I'll tackle my cupboard if you do yours!

Julie Weathers said...

I used to collect cookbooks. Junior League cookbooks are my favorite.

As for what I'm dragging my feet on. Finding a charity to donate the baby things to. I really need to get them out of the living room.

Mireyah Wolfe said...

I've been procrastinating on actually writing, exercising (I finally started doing that today!), and organizing my room. If I can keep up the exercising, start making real progress on my book, and get my room in order, I'll be a happy panda. ;)

Patty Blount said...

hehehe.... I have a cupboard that looks just like yours, except the shelf on which my books sit is actually bowed a bit from the weight. I'm more of a baker than a cook. I have some dessert recipes that'll knock your socks off.

There are more books in my basement, and more under my skirted sofa. When my grandmother died about seven years ago, I had the brilliant idea to collect her recipes and self-publish them in a family keepsake book.

Never did finish that project.

One of the big things I've been procrastinating is a revision of the Send climax. I've already written it a few times already, but decided I really need to rip poor Dan's heart out through his nostrils to make the scene less melodramatic and just plain dramatic.

I have to take his biggest fear, which is essentially believing God'll never forgive him for what he did when was 13 and roast him in a fire pit for all eternity - and then make it happen.

But crimony, I just can't do it to the poor kid. So, I've been avoiding it.

I did, however, stop by Candyland's earlier and make a donation. Great idea!

Lily said...

I did this a few days ago! My closet was OVERFLOWING with clothes. I didn't even have enough hangers to hang things up, they were being thrown on the shelving units that were supposed to be used to organize shoes (which of course were all thrown on the floor). So I went through everything, hanger by hanger. Keep, donate, trash. Then organize by category (work and casual). Then sub organize by color for easy finding and a nice look :) I was very proud of myself!

Lisa Marie Miles said...

I want to comment, but now I'm afraid you'll make me fix what I've been procrastinating on. I have a teetering "in" basket in my writing room that's filled with screenplays, writing articles and tons of story notes jotted on various pieces of paper. It's so high it actually tipped over so I bought a bigger basket. Every time I start to go through it I get frustrated halfway and dump everything back into it for another day. I want to clean it out, but I don't actually want to DO anything with the stuff. And it all has to go somewhere.

OfficeGirl said...

Okay, so there will be a piece of paper or some such random item on the floor. I will literally walk by it 3 thousand times, actually look at everytime and never stop to pick it up. Thats all it would take...just to bend down,pick it up and toss it in the trash. But I never do. I tell myself I should....but then I just walk right by....

LadyGenette said...

I've found the 1k1hr challenge is the easiest way for me to get scenes like that out of the way. I formed a list of scenes, put a spot for me to put the date, and put a goal of 1000 words. So far, so good. I've gotten 8 scenes done since July 1.

Tawna Fenske said...

Lynda, oh please DO come organize for me! I need all the help I can get!

tt, I will volunteer to go to Florence in your heroine's place. Problem solved!

KD Writes, sometimes a forced deadline is the only way to make things happen. Probably why I've been moving a little slower on this current manuscript. It's not due on my editor's desk until February, but I told myself I'd have it done in mid-July.

karenft, I have the exact same issue with plastic storage containers. Seriously, I should have posted a pic of that cupboard! Much worse than the cookbook one.

Julie, I've never seen a Junior League cookbook (and in fact, wouldn't have known what Junior League was if it weren't for my Southern critique partner). I'll have to go hunting for one of those cookbooks now, sounds great!

Mireyah, it does seem like if you can motivate yourself to do one thing, the others sometimes fall into place, don't you think?

Patty, good for you making a donation! Thanks so much for doing that! It sounds like a great cause, doesn't it?

Lily, ugh, thanks for reminding me I'm probably due for another closet cleaning. I did a big one last summer, but I know I'm due again.

Lisa Marie, c'mon...get on the bandwagon! I expect you to have a clean in box next week.

OfficeGirl, I'm terrible about that. And sometimes it becomes a grudge match with Pythagoras, where he'll leave something on the floor and I'll think, "I'm not picking that up, it's HIS sock," while he's completely oblivious to the fact that it's there at all. It could sit for weeks like that.

LadyGenette, isn't #1k1hr the best? It's totally saved my butt on this manuscript!

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Marjorie said...

That's messy to you? I suggest you watch "Hoarding, Buried Alive" on TLC. Now THAT's some serious hoarding of Collyer Brothers proportions.

My friend, for a decade, let nobody into her apartment. After she passed away, her sister went in to clean out the apartment. My friend was not living in a city dump, she was living in a landfill.

There were newspapers stacked up to the ceiling on the toilet and in the bathtub. There was garbage piled in a pyramid in the center of the apartment. There was no room to even walk.The kitchen was barricaded with piles of trash.

We could not figure out where she "went to the bathroom." This can become a real serious mental sickness.