Wasting Time? A Writer’s Diary Exposed

woman reading Nora Ephron bookWhy am I wasting so much time? I started a writer’s diary in my quest for answers.


6:30  Repeat five times, “Today is the day I am going to work on my NOVEL.”

6:40  Brush teeth.  Check email.  Oh boy, 40 new messages. Delete 39.

6:50  Wake up son for school, start breakfast, tidy up kitchen, run a load of laundry, drive son to school.

8:00  Check Internet.  Must know more about sinkhole in Florida that opened up and swallowed a man.

8:10  Phone rings.  Mother shares weird neighbor story.  Is it really possible to set house on fire by turning on hair dryer and washing machine at the same time?  Doubtful.

8:30  Draft new blog, “101 Ways to Avoid Writing a Novel.”

9:30  Time to write my NOVEL.  At least one page of NOVEL.  Okay, one damn sentence.

9:35  Mother calls back,  friend confirmed it was possible to set your house on fire by turning on the hair dryer and washing machine at the same time.  Still doubtful.

9:45  Put laundry in dryer.  Throw out trash.  Make grocery list.  Read first chapter of Nora Ephron, I Remember Nothing.

10:00 Continue working on blog.

10:30 Phone call reminds me it’s a friend’s birthday, 11:30 lunch.  Crap, need a shower.  Back by 1:00.

1:09  Must start working on THE NOVEL but realize bedroom is messy.  Husband notices I’m neglecting housework.

1:15  Tidy bedroom.  Vacuum and dust.  Cleaning shower is boring.

2:00  Time to sit down and work on THE NOVEL.  I hear voices in my head.

2:10  Type a few sentences, Chapter 10.  Knocking at front door.  Who is it? Tear down the staircase, dog on my heels.  Tom Turkey and lady friend peck on glass door.  You’ve got to be kidding!  Turkeys!

2:12  Send Mom picture on iPhone.  She’ll love this!

2:20  Check Facebook, Twitter, blog http://staceygustafson.com/

2:30  That’s it.  Thirty minutes to write before I pick up son from school.

3:00  I did it!  Wrote 200 words of my NOVEL.

Has this happened to you?  Let’s swap stories!  Leave a comment! 

About staceygustafson


  1. But you did it. 200 words may not seem like a lot, but if my math is correct, in just one year you could have a standard size, 75,000 word draft of your novel. All of the time you spent in avoidance-type behavior was really time spent letting ideas marinate in the recesses of your brain.

  2. I feel a story hatching .. .a day in the life of two domesticated wild turkeys . . . .

  3. Cathy Jetter says

    A deadline is all it takes for me to finally find the motivation to get started on all the household chores and projects I can otherwise ignore!

  4. I haven’t even tried to work on the rewrite of my YA novel since I got shingles. I’ve been filled with a million responsibilities, which I love, and I know it will be there when I get back to it … soon. The day above is typical, but I walk my son, Eddie McPuppers, rather than taking him to school. And my husband doesn’t ]\see missing housework.

    I balance what I can, and when the novel goes on a back burner it usually means I’m exploring writing in other ways. At least that’s what I tell myself.

    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  5. Ha! My day doesn’t even officially start until after I watch the ladies of The View at 10:00! Unless I’m meeting some early bird for coffee (you know who you are!). Loved this one!

  6. Diane Lovitt says

    I can procrastinate doing things I even love doing, like finishing the quilts for the quilt show April 20 and 21st at the fair grounds. I especially put off for months going through all our stuff to sell, donate, and downright trash before our fall move. I hope to squeeze in time to read and write a little. Love your stories!

    • staceygustafson says

      I hear ya! I could spend an hour sorting coupons just to avoid starting a chapter. Once I get started, nothing can stop me. Strange how that works.

  7. Neva Hodges says

    Sounds like all of us. Me included. Keep at it though. Janie

  8. Wow, you kept such an accurate record of your time. I wonder though, how much time this took by itself. Do you do keep record daily?

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