Thursday, May 22, 2014


I made myself a little job jar this week. All it has in it are strips of paper that say - bedroom, or bathroom + laundry room. I want to give a good scrub to one room each day. I'm already behind. The first day I got front porch + pantry - did a bang-up job - put away all the winter clothes, scrubbed the rubber mats in the tub, swept and washed the floors - the whole shebang. Yesterday I got 'kitchen' and I felt aggrieved. Too hard of a job - besides don't I clean it every day? Instead I made berry jam. I used less sugar, it didn't set right. Now it's berry sauce - yummy on our home-made yoghurt.

So what? say all you writers. Who gives a care?!

I still did my writing work. I worked on my poem sequence. I talked to the person that I hope will co-pilot me through a self-published book. I worked on Bright Angel. I'm totally on task with my writing.

I like having extra jobs - self-inflicted because then I will do the writing - the main thing as far as I'm concerned. Then I can feel guilty because I didn't do the kitchen and will have to today, along with 'the bedroom'. I haven't worked on my quilt for days. I didn't do my chants yesterday but I will catch up today - I never let that practice get more than one day behind. I did walk the dog for nice long leisurely walks - oh and by the way - she just upchucked on the very clean front porch floor. Dang.

I have picked up a bag of garbage on the beach every day for a week.

I've made meals, done dishes and put away my messes.

I've kissed my fella, had a nightly bath and read ten books for the library challenge (I aim to win!).

And as I've done all this, the ice has been sliding out of the bay. Yep. Not breaking up dramatically, but pushed gently by the wind over to where the river enters the bay and catching the stream to the ocean. Now I can hardly see any ice it is so far out.

And I'm writing.


Hart Johnson said...

I, too, get to feeling cheated when I finish a big job only to be handed another big job and find a way to play hooky or do some other thing instead.

The writing stuff sounds good! And I am happy to field questions or proof or whatever you need for the self-pub process, too. I'm not doing a bang-up job of it... still only on Amazon, but at least in that one domain, I am sort of getting the hang of it.

Liza said...

Job Jar. I may have to try that. My problem is I get writing first. Then I get immersed. And then, well who wants to do a "job" after that?

Anonymous said...

Jan - I think that doing tasks like that can actually help remind us of the discipline one needs to write. And like those tasks, breaking the writing task down helps to get it done.

Jan Morrison said...

I have found, since moving here in particular, that I need a constant shape to my days. After all, I am accountable to no one here but myself, and no one cares but me if I my days are full of idle pursuits. The job jar is a way to playfully provoke me into doing things that need doing and it also gives my rebel child an out - "I'm not going to clean the kitchen - I'm going to write instead." Really, I don't care so much about the housework but I do care that I write and I write more fluidly when I think I'm stealing time from some other endeavor. crazy wha?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Jan, I'm intrigued by your comment about being accountable only to yourself and needing a nudge. Sometimes, I feel that way. So I got a dry erase board and each morning write the tasks I plan to accomplish. It is gratifying to put a big check or heart or something after each is completed. But even saying that there are some days when I feel I let the hours slip through my fingers.

Jan Morrison said...

Oh yes Tricia! I have a very nice 'To Do' book with the cover a design I collaged. The first section is my ongoing goals and then the second section is day to day to do's that are also culled from the larger list or made up of smaller things I need to do in order to get the large ones accomplished. I do like to write it down - here on the blog or in my book - then it has a fighting chance!