A Fresh Start.

by Risa Green


I wish that I could say that I’ve been productive and prolific and motivated over the last couple of months, but I can’t. Writing is a funny kind of a job, especially when you’re not under any kind of deadline, except for the ones that you make up in your own head (I will finish by Thanksgiving. Okay, Christmas. Okay, spring break. Okay, by summer, and this time, I mean it!) But really, it’s the kind of thing where you’re either in the zone, or you’re not. And I have been out of the zone for a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that I feel like a liar every time I say yes when someone asks me if I work. So long, in fact, that I have stopped saying yes all together, and have started asking if by do I work, they mean theoretically or in actuality. Because theoretically, yes, I am working on a book. But in actuality, I have not worked on said book since sometime back in October.


It all started with the auction that I co-chaired for my daughter’s school. Although technically it was a volunteer position, it still took up all of my time, I didn’t really enjoy doing it, and it totally stressed me out. Which sounds a lot like a job to me. And felt a lot like a job, especially since it left me with no time to do my real job. Which is how I rationalized the fact that I didn’t write a single page while I was working on the auction for six months. Book? Oh, wish I could, but I have this damn auction. But then the auction ended. At the end of February. And have I written a page since? No.


Of course, I needed a few weeks to recoup from all of the late nights and aggravation of the auction. And then I needed to clean out my closet, because I just couldn’t work with all of that clutter. In my closet. And then I had to clean out the kids’ closets, and the bathroom cabinets, and my entire office, and then, of course, I felt compelled, as if by an unseen force, to clean out the junk drawers in the kitchen. And as everybody knows, when you’re cleaning out the junk drawers in the kitchen, there must be something you really don’t want to do, because nobody decides to just clean out the junk drawers in the kitchen. And before I knew it, when my husband would ask me how my day was, I began answering him by saying that it was horrible, because all I did all day was clean out closets and go to the market and pick up the kids and cook dinner. Which is not the kind of day that belongs to someone who defines herself as a working mother. But still, I couldn’t bring myself to write. There was just no zone.


And then last week I hit rock bottom.



Ah, sounds familiar. I should be writing in preperation for a television shoot I'm going on in just a few days. But I can't even think of a word to write. Or perhaps it's all the Midol I just took. Damn cramps. Or perhaps, just perhaps I'm procrastinating. Hmmm...



Way to go Risa! I feel your pain, therefore, I feel your excitement in working through your block. I have procrastinated writing my first offical blog post for my newly launched business for a few months. A blog post of all things...crazy I know. Anyway, right before I read your article I wrote the post! Do you really have some sort of writing mom's group??


I'm a firm believer that clearing out that physical clutter (in your office, closets, kitchen, etc.) clears your mind so that you can be productive. So thank your decluttering stars, too, Risa! And mamajaj, can I join your writing moms group? I need one of those, too!



I envy you your clean closets and your agent. I have neither so no excuses and no support other than a group of other equally unpublished, unagented, writing moms. and though I continue journaling everyday, and though I rarely cook dinner of clean house for my family, I also have successfully stopped trying to get my book published. But does that story fit for this overachieving group of mothers? I do still play tennis, though, lest I sound too much like a loser.