I Played Hooky The Other Day by Beth Barany

image for I Played Hooky The Other Day by Beth BaranyThe other day I played hooky. Actually, I daydreamed; I rested; I fed the well.

I watched 4 episodes in a row of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow; read just one more chapter of the next Ava Lee novel; listened to one more episode of FranceInter]; and one from the What Works podcast.

In other words, even though I had practically the entire day free to work on my book (coming soon), I didn’t.

When I was a kid, adults around me called me lazy because I liked to read a lot. What they didn’t seem to know or observe was that I also liked to play hide and go seek, Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, and ride my bike.

I always had an active mind and an active body. I wanted to go go go. Many of the places I wanted to go I could only go through books.

I always objected inside to being called lazy just because I read a lot. My mind was so active.

Yet I internalized that shaming that the calling me lazy held.

It seemed to really mean:

You should be doing something. (As if I wasn’t doing anything.)

You are just sitting on your butt, doing nothing. And doing nothing is bad.

You have to be doing something to have worth in this world.

I’m sure the adults around me were just concerned for my future survival and safety. How was this girl going to take care of herself if all she did was sit on her butt and read books and scribble bad poetry?

Guess what? I make a living sitting on my butt reading and writing books. So there, adults!

Now that I am adult (pretty sure!) I know I need to inhale as much creativity as I exhale my stories. Probably more, since I have half a dozen stories simmering on the back burner and I’m feeding those too — in addition to the story I’m actively working on.

All this to say: We are not lazy. Humans are quite industrious. And have always been so.

“We are always doing the best we can, given the resources we have.”

This idea (paraphrased) comes to me by way of NLP Marin and the Master NLP Practitioner training I took.

This translates for me into: I am always doing my best, in any given moment.

I don’t think you’re being lazy or procrastinating when you’re not writing. I think you’re taking care of yourself in the best way you know how.

“We are always doing the best we can, given the resources we have.”

If you want to be writing, but aren’t, look to the resource you may need.

Do you need support? Look to the ineffable, the Divine, or ask a loved one for a hug, and tell yourself, “You got this.” Or maybe you need to eat, or sleep, or feed the creative well.

We rely on our creativity to guide us as we write. We need to trust this invisible, mysterious force, every step of the way, to guide us on what word to choose, which direction to take our story, what to cut, what to add…

So when it comes to not writing, taking a break, having some Nothing time, can you trust your creativity then too? Can you trust yourself to take care of yourself?

Let me know your thoughts on the topic of laziness, procrastination, and creativity.

I’d love to hear.


BETH BARANY, CREATIVITY COACH FOR WRITERSA Master NLP Practitioner and certified creativity coach for writers, Beth runs Barany School of Fiction, a full suite of courses designed to help genre fiction writers experience clarity and get writing, so they can revise and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers.

Based in Oakland, California, Beth Barany has presented at Ithra Center (King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, at Romance Writers of America National Conference, at Emerald City Conference in Seattle, Washington, at the San Francisco Writers Conference, and at San Francisco Bay Area chapters of SCBWI, CWC, and RWA.

Award-winning novelist, Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives. She is the award-winning author of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, the acclaimed paranormal romance author of the Touchstone series, and is proud to release her newest novels, science fiction mysteries about Janey McCallister space station investigator. The first book in the series, Into The Black, is a Page Turner Awards ebook Finalist. She has also written books for writers, including Plan Your Novel Like A Pro, co-written with her husband, thriller writer Ezra Barany.


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  • Hugh Tipping says:


  • Beth says:

    Thanks, Hugh.

  • Connie R Newbauer says:

    YES~! I had the very same experience as a child! I was continually called lazy – there is no time on a farm to sit and read, it seems. When they forced me outside, I tucked a book under my shirt and sat in a tree to read! LOL Hooray for READERS!

  • Beth Barany says:

    Connie, YES! Hurrah for readers! Thanks for stopping by.

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