When Cleaning Your Bathroom Seems More Important than Working on Your Story by Veronika Magali-Marosy
Today we welcome a new guest writer to Writer’s Fun Zone, Veronika Magali-Marosy, who is stopping by to chat with us about “When Cleaning Your Bathroom Seems More Important than Working on Your Story.” Enjoy!
It’s a moonlit night, not long after my sixth birthday.
in my room, I can see the outlines of furniture and toys. When I look around, my gaze gets caught on something on my bookshelf. It looks like an evil bunny with red eyes, moving slightly. Paralyzed by a sudden rush of fear, I can’t look away.
You’re sitting at your computer.
The document with your story is open and waiting for you to work on it. The cursor is blinking, like it’s mocking you. Suddenly your gaze slides onto your to-do list, next to your computer.
Resistance fills your entire being. An overwhelming sense of restlessness rushes over you and now you have to do something.
In the dark room, my heart is pounding like it’s going to jump out of my chest.
This evil bunny seems more and more scary. The tension is palpable in the air.
Will it strike? What if I move? What if it’s not even a bunny? How can a bunny be evil?
I need to do something, before it does something.
You scrub the shower fervently, while your hands start hurting. Meanwhile, your story is in your head.
You think, “I should write at least 1,000 words each day. Isn’t this how great writers write? Shouldn’t I write a handwritten manuscript first? What if the whole idea is totally wrong? Do I need to use index cards? I need to check what that article says about that.”
The tension between my fear and the urge to do something is getting unbearable. I try to breathe, but it feels like I’m suffocating. Suddenly, I make the move. I jump out of my bed, run to the light switch, and flip it on.
Your head is full of doubt. You scrub harder and harder. You barely notice your hurting hands any more. Suddenly you stop mid-track. “What the hell am I doing?” You slowly put down the cleaning supplies and walk over to your computer.
Looking around the room, the evil bunny is gone. It’s a little white plastic bag. I didn’t remember having that in my room. The danger is gone, and I sigh with relief. I still feel the tension that filled my body before, but I can finally go to sleep.
Standing next to your computer, you realize it’s resistance keeping you away from writing. Even though you still feel it in your whole being, the choice of what to do next becomes a little less agitating. Your story starts to take form on the screen.
Resistance is like the evil bunny. It shows up when you least expect it and fills your body and mind with tension, often creating thoughts that seem harmless and unreasonable in hindsight. But just like the evil bunny, resistance becomes quite harmless once you turn on the light of awareness.
Becoming aware of what’s happening in your body and mind when you’re facing resistance is the first step towards overcoming it. It’s a micro step, but a crucial one. The key is to practice becoming aware in the moment. The good news is becoming aware is a skill that anyone can learn. Even if it’s something you’ve found difficult until now.
There are a few ways you can bring more awareness into your day.
Take A Breath and Connect to Yourself
One way is to set reminders throughout the day to take a breath. Even a few seconds can be enough to take a conscious breath and bring some awareness to how you feel, what you’re doing, and what thoughts are running through your head. And you might feel compelled to extend it into a short meditation.
If you’re familiar with meditation, you can also practice present-moment awareness meditations, where you observe what’s going on right now, without trying to change anything.
Meditations that fall into this category usually focus on the breath, the body, thoughts and emotions, or something in nature.
Whether you find it easy or extremely difficult to be in the present moment, you can practice becoming aware when resistance shows up.
Micro step by micro step, you’ll move towards choosing your story above cleaning the bathroom.
Here’s to your creative success!
Freebie: Not sure about whether you’re good at staying in the present moment or not? Take the quiz in The Four Skills of Productivity workbook. You will find out what your strengths are and what skills need your attention now to build a solid foundation for long-term productivity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Veronika Magali-Marosy is a mother, former illustrator, meditation teacher, and a recovering master procrastinator. She helps creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, and working parents, who are dedicated to make a difference in the world, but who struggle with staying productive.