🍓 Mindful Monday, July 13, 2020

🍓 Mindful Monday, July 13, 2020

Dividing manuscript into scenes while enjoying the balcony this weekend. Photo by Shelley Burbank

Good Monday, Dear Reader! 

So here we are again on a Monday, the entire week spread out before us like a delectable buffet of goodies…or not. 

For most of us right now, our days and weeks are a tad dull, like oatmeal. We take it because we know it’s good for us, we dress it up as best we can with various toppings, but underneath it all we know that we are settling, once again, for oatmeal when maybe we really want a decadent chocolate croissant or a bowl of strawberries and cream or a perfect cheese omelet. 

Today, for me, it’s worse than usual. I’m stuck inside.

There was an explosion and fire on a Navy vessel here in San Diego, and today the smoke drifted into my neighborhood, filling the valley with the acrid, noxious smell of burning rubber and who knows what else. I won’t even be able to go out to the balcony.

So, it’s plain ol’ oatmeal stuff again–sitting at my desk and writing. 

I love writing. I truly do. What I’m struggling with these days is finding a way to recharge my creativity. Usually that means a new experience, some sparkling conversation, fresh voices and sights. For obvious reasons, this is not possible now. Instead I’m sitting here at my little desk and feeling anxious about beginning the second draft of my romance novel, LOVE & EAST MERCY. 

For some reason, I am feeling anxious about starting. Doubt, uncertainty, fear of failure…these are crowding in on me today. What should I do about it? Simple. 

Just start. 

Many writers have found various ways to say “You can’t fix a blank page.”

My corollary is, “You can’t fix a full page by staring at it.” At some point, after hemming and hawing and planning and plotting and creating an outline and analyzing character motivations, you have to just start rewriting. 

Or digging that new garden space. Or sending out that resume. Or designing you business website. Or creating your first blog post. Or following that first workout video. Or finally deep cleaning the refrigerator. Whatever it is we are avoiding, procrastinating won’t make it any easier. Starting is the only cure. 

Because even though it might just be oatmeal again today, we know it–and our work–are good for us. 



What have your been wanting to start, but haven’t? What is holding you back? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you start? 

I love comments & I comment back!


Remembering better times in the 1980s, here is Manic Monday, by the Bangles.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. What a fun and relatable read. A writer I listened to on the weekend said we should “procrastinate about our procrastination” – in other words, do it. Start writing. And often that it’s our fear of failure that stops us from following through on the process of writing in the first place.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    1. Afternoon, my friend! Was that the San Diego Writers Festival? I really need to catch up on all that. I have managed to….start! A few paragraphs in without too many starts and stops. The beginning is always the hardest for me. It sets the tone for the entire book. I’m trying to write in simple but elegant sentences. Difficult stuff! Thanks so much for being a loyal reader. Shelley

      1. Yes, it was the SD Writer’s Festival … It was interesting, and good for a beginner like me.

        1. I’m so glad you are enjoying it!

  2. 700 words on the new draft, peeps! I’m loving it so far. Yay!

  3. I love the oatmeal metaphor. My oatmeal has had a few raisins lately so I can’t complain. The writer’s block has lifted somewhat. As you’ve stated- I just need to finish up with the snippets and start putting it together- in other words it’s time to start that new novel! I’m working the next couple of days until 1:30 but would love to touch base via the phone- let’s chat and catch up!

    1. Start, start, start! Yes, let’s make a phone call date.

  4. I like the way you think and your tenacity. I feel pretty stuck right now. I KNOW it’s temporary. Something always comes up. I’m thinking of taking a chapter of my unfinished novel and making it into a short story. I also have an idea to write a novel (or novella) about a cook in a lumber camp in Canada. It’s got a lot going for it, except that I know so little about the subject of timber harvesting. I just sent my latest story, “Summer 2018” to Maine Review. Thanks for making me aware of it. Good luck. Happy writing.

    1. I think it is tenacity born of desperation, Georgette. I’ve put too much time and effort into it to stop now. Yay about the submission to Maine Review! Fingers crossed for you. Keep us all posted. Also, I like your novel idea.

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