Tag Archives: procrastination

Avoidance in disguise

I could spend the rest of my life, even a long life, organizing my studio and finishing incomplete work.

Started sorting this morning and made give away piles, maybe-sell piles, village-quilt-teeny-geometric piles, and found many, many quilts half done. Also a few all the way done.

(I was in the basement because of tree work over at the school. The noise level is fairly tolerable now but just wait until they start grinding branches).

The problem with a space that affords potentially endless and productive activity is that it can serve as a sneaky tool of avoidance. You’d think my laptop was covered in cactus spines or snot the way I’m avoiding it.

So, in the school of Find the Thing You Can Say Yes To (Even If it’s Ridiculously Small) I found something I can say yes to: go through and make sure chapter headings match my table of contents. Bye!

here’s what I did this morning instead of writing…

made coffee, cleared off coffee table
corresponded (via FB) with fellow artist about trade-in-progress
started dishwasher
looked for black buttons for Owlie Eyes down in the basement studio
sat on heating pad, read about Native American love of blue cloth
looked up “stroud” cloth
made a Pinterest board for such things
took a bath
vacuumed the entire upstairs
answered email about a possible dog adoption
flagged emails about flickr and website payments owed
wondered why D. doesn’t want to spend his entire winter break at home
decided not to make any uninformed judgments about same
went to post a draft to blog and made it disappear instead
decided not to get upset about it
looked at FB
researched crate training
made a Pinterest board for such things
filled bird feeders
cleared the two storm drains at this end of the street
checked our basement for water
looked for lentils, found none
put up a pot of barley soup
printed out four stories that I promised to review for a fellow writer
wondered if birds eat when it’s raining
posted pictures to flickr
put clean clothes away
made a grocery list
found missing blog post, made it private

and this!

Schedule C dance

Say those seemingly innocuous syllables — “Schedule C” — to a self-employed American artist, and I can nearly guarantee a shudder or a groan in response.  At least a heavy sigh.  You might also hear some well-meaning but completely unbelievable assertions of a schedule.  To be stuck to.  Until it’s finished.

I was so deep into my resistance to tax preparation earlier this week, that a whole flurry of activity erupted – activity that might at any other time be laudable.   I made a SoulCollage card about it — called (surprise, surprise!):  Procrastination.  How often does the subject one hopes to depict get expressed in the very act of creating it?


As I cut and paste these images, it became oh-so-clear how procrastination verges into denial and feeds on addiction.  Think of those Venn diagrams they taught us like it was ever-so-critical in third grade and then never mentioned again.

Three equal-sized circles overlapping with their neighbors on the side, and with all three, in the middle.  Ah – there’s the rampant TV-watching, butting up to the refusal to look at the calendar, intersecting with the activity that is NOT preparing Schedule C. 

You see, when the time starts to get critical – which it is not yet, but will be soon — any activity that is NOT PREPARING SCHEDULE C, is procrastination — no matter how wonderful that activity otherwise would be.  In my college years, I became famous for rearranging the furniture the moment it became crunch-time for a lengthy paper  – and not just my bedroom, but the entire apartment (unlike overeating or watching endless hours of bad TV, at least rearranging furniture has the side-benefit of stress relief… if you saw me, you would know why this is especially true for me, standing at 5′ 1″ — and, honestly, outside of pianos, I’ve never met a piece of furniture I couldn’t shove to a new position all by myself).

This year, this week,  I’ve been cleaning out drawers.  Not just a puttering straightening of a few objects — but rather a ruthless re-sorting that invariably involves the entire house (and LOTS OF TIME).  It’s almost felt virtuous.  But we know better.  Procrastination possesses all manner of craft.

Cleaning up in the overwhelming mess of basement-studio, this little scene got arranged.  How bad can that be?

Piecing up some scraps from “Ghost House” with remnants from the barn quilts, getting halfway toward a delightful crib blanket.  Again, can this so bad?  I even worked on the massive Global Warming quilt, completing one lower quadrant — good, right?!

No, no and no!!  Until the expenses are logged into excel and the receipts tidied and all the bank statements ordered and gone through, I will not legitimately be working on ANYTHING.  It will all be procrastination in disguise!