by Janis Patterson
…or lack of same.
Maybe it’s the change of seasons, but I’m having the hardest time focusing on anything productive writing-wise. For most of my creative life I’ve been able to sit and write and concentrate only on the story at hand.
Now I can’t. I sit, and I write for a while, and then my mind flits away and eventually my body follows it. The dishwasher needs to be emptied. The laundry pile has reached monumental proportions. The dried glue – residue of decades of long-resident cork strips holding up glass – absolutely needs to be scraped off my antique desk right this very minute. The autumn afternoon is bright and still warm enough to make the hot tub irresistibly appealing. I must find something to thaw for dinner. Oh – wait! A key ingredient is missing for that new recipe I simply have to try, so I must rush to the store, where I spend half an hour perusing ingredient labels.
All of the above are not unusual, save for restoring the old desk, but before they always waited patiently for the evening round of chores. It’s always been that I write during the day just as if I went to a regular job in an office elsewhere – except that the money isn’t as good – and do the ‘housewife’ chores in the evening. Now they – and anything else that isn’t writing – seem irresistible.
And before you say it, no, it isn’t writers’ block. My mind simply teems with ideas and plots and twists and turns that I really, really do want to write… but only after I have potted the new chrysanthemum plants. At night, sitting alongside The Husband as we watch TV, in my head I script entire scenes that only need to be written down. They are good, and I’ll get them into pixels first thing in the morning, I promise.
Except I don’t. Instead the hot tub calls, or the laundry, or reorganizing the spice shelf – a chore that has needed to be done for years. An elderly friend whom I haven’t seen in months should be taken to a leisurely lunch, but it’s too much like work to write long-overdue letters to other friends.
Is there such a thing as fall fever? And is there any cure for it? I know the answer to the first question (a definite yes!) and kind of hope there isn’t an immediate answer for the second. I’m enjoying this too much.