10 Signs You May Be Spending Too Much Time at Home Writing

1) You think of your cat as your best friend and confidante.

2) You actually begin to care that there’s a mess in the kitchen that needs to be addressed immediately.  When did that ever happen before?  Never, that’s when.

3) You notice you’re wearing the same outfit you wore yesterday.  So what?  At least you’re not still in your pajamas, like some other slobby writers you know.

4) You get a little too excited when the phone rings, even if it’s a wrong number or a solicitation call.

5) Speaking of getting a little too excited — have you noticed you’re like a wild animal let out of a cage when you’re at a cocktail party?  Can you, the avowed introvert, possibly be talking way too much?  And how attractive is your air of desperation, anyway?

6) You know those phone solicitors?  You have no idea why people trash them all the time.  After you’ve talked to them for an hour or so, you realize they’re very nice and sadly misunderstood people.  They are also hawking some rather valuable products.

7) Even your cat looks a little bored by you these days.  Remind self to buy more expensive catfood to woo him back.

8) Why does the postman deliver your mail and run away quickly?  Could he be avoiding you, too, after your lengthy conversation with him about bringing you better mail the next time?

9) The cat suggests he needs a little more time to himself and is a little tired of you and all your problems with writer’s block.  You consider taking him to the animal shelter and trading him in for a needier, more codependent pet who will appreciate your neuroses more.

10) It’s spring.  Therefore, you decide your house needs a spring-cleaning, even though you and your house have lived through many, many springs together — and this has never been an issue before.  The cat objects, though, so you call the whole thing off.  You can always get another house, but a best friend is forever.

(Copyright 2009 by Ruth Pennebaker)


21 comments… add one
  • 11. You start to think that spending time on Facebook is, really and truly, socializing.

  • Hey, I thought you didn’t like those little face things (I forget what they’re called).

  • Oh, goodness, what a perfect list!!! Some have suggested that I pick up my laptop and go write in a trendy coffeehouse where there are people. But that means I would have to dress nicely. And the dogs would become very stressed.  

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    I hate those little smiley faces, but sometimes they appear instead of the number 8.  A cruel, cruel joke.

    I’ve been hearing about writing buddies from Katherine.  May be my next strategy.

  • I suddenly leaped to my feet and started sweeping my office floor today. Anything rather than birth that rhinoceros.

    I like that emoticons are being forced on you.

  • Hey, when did you start moderating?

  • It is the wicked spring coming in and shaking us all astir…. Or something like that.

  • jmobx Link

    As I write this, I’m still in my pj’s.  Think I’ll go clean the kitchen.

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    What’s “moderating,” Sophie?  Answering people?

  • Hemingway used to defrost the freezer rather than write…..

  • Mei Link

    Ditto on the cat. I used to think that I wasn’t spending enough time with my cat, but now, it seems like he’s bored with me being home too much!

  • Hey, now! My dog is my best friend, confidant and blog conspirator.

    Seriously, though, it’s tough being an extrovert who works at home.

  • Very true except your cat is my dog, and I know my delivery people by first name.

    Oh, let’s see, and I have an overuse injury from sitting in front of my computer too much.

    And my computer has become a person that I am married to, and I get jealous if it flirts with my husband or he flirts with it. I got him his own computer so he would keep his mitts off mine.

  • In the days when I used to write I found that after a paragraph or two I very much needed a bath.

  • Ruth–
    Love your post.
    And, yes, in my case, the highlight of the day is watching my two Labs attack the mail shoot in the door when the mail lady gets up enough nerve to actually drop the mail through the slot. Always good for a few laughs!

  • Oh, dear, well I’m still in my PJs and was planning to wear the same clothes as yesterday. But I have a good excuse! I’m moving today and most of my clothes are packed already. Very funny (and true) post!

  • Ut oh, this all sounds too familiar!

  • Winston Link

    “I hate those little smiley faces, but sometimes they appear instead of the number 8.  A cruel, cruel joke.”

    Ruth, maybe when posting lists, you should try typing 8a.  That might keep the smiley at bay.  But, of course, then you’d be pressed to come up with an 8b to justify using 8a.   *snicker*

  • Winston Link

    “Hemingway used to defrost the freezer rather than write….”

    Barbara— gosh, suppose Ernest had owned a frost-free model?
    We might have never known for whom that bell tolled.  Chilling thought.

  • scary accurate (except I have dogs)

  • Great blog! A pleasure to read.

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