Okay, I’ve procrastinated long enough

Dear friends and/or writers,

Happy Presidents’ Week, 20151

I feel like this is my “failure to publish” letter to people I may have disappointed (mainly myself, and possibly Mrs. Pearson, my 11th grade English teacher), but after reading on the Linked in “Books and Writers” site an author’s thoughtful essay on writers’ procrastination, I realize that I’m not the problem, but the end product of a system gone dinosaur and unwriter-friendly, or is it writer-unfriendly?  You see, I wasn’t really procrastinating. I was waiting. I was waiting for the agents and editors, most of whom I have met at various writer’s conferences, to get back to me in response to my exquisitely crafted query letters and sample pages. The average wait time was never, as in no response, or three to eight months. I must say, two of the longer waits were well worth the time, although each editor had opposite responses to/advice for my novel.

So in waiting rather than procrastinating, I followed my own advice or muse or short attention span, and did a lot of other writing. Some writing was necessary, as in writing for freelance  jobs or lesson plans. But I wrote essays, rants, poems, stories, etc. with no particular ambition on my part to publish them beyond posting here. Some I shared with a few writer friends. But I did not formally maintain this site, which I regret and blame on my own version of procrastination. So I do apologize.  Now, I can’t go back in time (unlike my fictional characters) and write a bunch of blogs, but I will endeavor to post more frequently. Perhaps I will write something moving, or make you chuckle in an insightful moment of recognition about the human condition, connecting us both in the grand cypber-space or possibly spider-space of the space/time continuum, or, to be more mystical, the realm of the Infinite Ein Sof. If so, send me a thought, email, or post.

Just a brief recap (not to sound too much like PBS TV): a month ago I slipped on a stair at my son’s house and managed to fracture a bone in my foot. Okay, for dramatic effect I might say I broke my foot, but really, it was just the fifth metatarsal. This is astonishingly inconvenient, given that I walk everywhere and was told to stay off my foot. This lasted about a week. Now I am still hobbling around with this amazing cam boot that keeps the fracture stable, and crutches, which are more for dramatic effect and a seat on the bus, than anything. The pain: minor, thanks to homeopathy, natural anti inflammatory remedies, foot soaks in salt baths, various senders of healing energy, etc. The gain: more time to write, reflect, and read; the change of mind set going about my day; new perspectives and perceptions. The getting used to: Taxis, which I dislike taking. Jolted walking and bus traveling routines.  Subways are still a distant memory.

The pain and gain part, finding out who my friends are: an unexpected and surprising tribe, people offering support, advice, a call or note, a writing date “Chez Sheila” (my apt.), flowers, lasagna, soup, husband Sheldon’s almost endless patience (and terrific cooking and healing talents). Conversely, the “oy veyers,” people who say “I feel so bad for you,” and then say nothing more, or worse, slide right into kvetching about their own tzuris (worries). I must work to clear these well-meaning but unhelpful sympathies from my aura and welcome in the thoughts and deeds that come generously from kindness. Small gestures go a long way.

As for procrastination, where we started. I’ll have to get back to that later. Thanks for listening, even better, responding, Sheila

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About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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15 Responses to Okay, I’ve procrastinated long enough

  1. Pingback: Okay, I’ve procrastinated long enough | sheilaklewis

    • sheilaklewis says:

      you are so right, Gina. It is a terribly laden word and I see it more and more as an illusion, although it does still lurk and disrupt. You are so sweet to offer help. I think I am good. I am happy to know that you are writing or completing something, and willing to read anything you write. This is a great process, writing with and without procrastination, just going forward. Sheila

  2. gmarten5 says:

    Perhaps “procrastinated” is a word we should consider getting rid of. It’s so
    reproachful. We do what we do when we do it. That said, now that I finally got a
    round tuit there are many things I can complete. Or start. Or think about.

    Catherine mentioned you had broken your foot and by the time I got off the elevator
    and into my classroom I completely forgot. I can shop for you if you need anything.

    Gina

  3. merrieway says:

    Sounds like we are all joining the human race… or shall we say human condition. I made my bucket list and whizzed through in less than three decades… Now every action is more measured, and procrastination does slip into the mix, thinking more about action, than getting the show on the road.
    I love your truthful blogs Sheila, they help me to fess-up.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      I am proud of you that you met your bucket list, I have barely completed the thimble list. Perhaps you can share that secret with the rest of us. Yes, we can all prioritize in more measured actions as we grow older and hopefully wiser. Thanks, Merrie Lynn

  4. Alice says:

    Hi Sheila,
    Cool blog! Thanks for sending the link!
    Alice

  5. Sheldon Lewis says:

    Thanks for dissolving your procrastination. I’ll follow your example and procrastinate tomorrow! Shelby

  6. Susan Greenfield says:

    Yes–I know what you mean about the waiting game! So good that you’ve gotten other writing done in between. Inspiring!

  7. shyamaorum says:

    Dear Sheila, Yes, a hurt foot sucks. I hurt my ankle 12/17 and it has really slowed me down. But I am getting better and two people told me the upside. The acupuncturist assures me it puts me in alignment with the energy of winter (turning within and silence). The intuitive recalls that Baba told people that burning karma through an outward symptom is preferable to doing it via internal organs. So I’m clearing karma and the foot is getting better. That’s my take on it – you may have a totally different experience. Meanwhile, you work so hard – so what if you don’t do everything at the speed of light. Love always.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      Hi Shyama, so nice to hear from you! Yes, a fracture that didn’t heal much in the first month
      because I evidently didn’t stay off it 100%, which seems impossible, will need more time to heal.
      Looking into getting this thing called a roll-about, which is easier than crutches to get around
      the house. I do wear a cam boot. Thanks for the reminder about karma–I have injured my ankle, toes, etc. in my right foot before. I do feel healthy and happy to have internal time. It does make getting to work hard but luckily off my after school classes this week. 2-3 times week have to cab there. my speed is way low (for me) but mostly I miss not being able to go see my baby grandson Micah!

  8. NubbyP says:

    Glad to see you get back into blogging!
    Love Alex

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