Monday, October 29, 2012


I'm basically a lazy person who'd rather sit around all day, read books and graze in the refrigerator. I constantly have to look for ways to motivate myself. When the kids were young, all my time was taken up just taking care of them. Kids have their own way of motivating you to put food on the table and since Pampers weren't around, not doing laundry wasn't an option. It only took watching the baby put something from the floor in his mouth or picking him up and seeing dirt on his hands and knees to spur me to sweep and mop.

Then they went to school and for the first time I had time on my hands. I still had chores that needed to be done, but no impending disaster if I let them slide.  I knew people who had routines, something scheduled for each day of the week. You know, Monday was laundry day, etc. Didn't work for me. I'd find myself putting off the laundry just because it was Monday.I did, however, find creative ways to motivate myself. For instance, if my house needed a good cleaning, I invited girlfriends over for lunch. Since there was no way I'd let them see my house dirty, I'd work like a fiend getting everything spic and span.

Later I went to work and since there was no way I could do everything in the few hours I was home, I enlisted the kids. I even had a work chart for each day of the week posted on the refrigerator. The supervision took almost as much time as doing the chores myself, but for the sake of teaching the kids to work, I made everyone stick to the routine.

The kids left home. Eventually I retired and ended up with lots of hours where no one expected me to do anything. With only two of us at home, the house stays relatively clean, or maybe I've just learned to ignore the dirt for longer periods of time. Whatever. With all the extra time, I decided I needed a hobby, so I took up writing novels. At first I wrote for several hours a day, finishing my first in less then six months. The second took a little longer, and I worked on the third one off and on for over a year. After all these years, I find I'm still looking for ways to motivate myself. It would be nice if   my publisher was bugging me to meet some deadline, or my editor was clamoring for my next manuscript, but sadly I don't have either of those. I do have readers who keep asking for the next book, but unlike hungry kids, they don't scream as loud or as often as it takes to keep my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keys of my computer.

I guess I'll just have to get creative. No food until I've written for at least two hours? That might work.