The Guilty Writer

Sometimes I feel guilty about not writing for a while. And if I don’t feel guilty about that, I feel guilty for not feeling guilty about not writing. It can be hard to come back when you’ve stepped away. Breaks are important, and life is messy, but sitting down to tap keys after several weeks of silence can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Not quite right, even. Like I almost have to settle back into the creative shell of myself that I left.  

Time for writing is thinning. Responsibilities thicken, layers I barely notice tossed one by one on my back. Work rages, my diet intensifies, projects in the house and yard take priority.

This isn’t new… We all experience the struggle of balancing the things we must do and want to do. I’ve been here before, yet it seems different this time.

Maybe it’s because I tucked the novel in a drawer a couple weeks ago.

I didn’t give up, but I did intentionally step away.

Seven agents have asked to see the complete manuscript. Six returned it, some without a word, others with contradicting feedback. I became tangled in this terrible web of editing for the next agent, adjusting the story for the next set of eyes whose feedback will contradict the last.

When one said it started too slow, I adjusted, then the next said it was too much.

I’m spinning, long strings of opinions and subjectivity strangling me.

To be free of that frustration, I tucked it all away.

At first, I felt like I was betraying my characters… but to constantly change the story just to meet the desires of literary agents would be a far greater disservice. I know I have something here, but perhaps now is not the time. I’m stepping away to process, to wait, to breathe, to start something new.

One day the time will come, and I’ll dust off those pages to try again. But for now, I need to try something different and keep the words coming. The time for these phrases is minimal, but if I can write even just a few sentences a day, keep the creativity flowing with my blood, that will be enough.


Synonyms of Terrible

I’ll come right out and say it.

I am terrible at adulting.

I’m writing this when I should be formatting a spreadsheet for work.


I forgot to take down my trash bin 2 weeks in a row. Then on week 3, had to run it down the longass driveway screaming, “Wait! Wait! Wait for me!”


What good is the expensive-ass water softener if I can never remember to actually put salt in it?


I would rather pluck weeds on Animal Crossing than weed my own real life garden.


I have walked past the same bench every day for 3 weeks saying, “I should probably dust that.”


I never balance a checkbook.


I fill my fridge with healthy options and carefully packed leftovers, then ignore them until they go bad on purpose so I don’t actually have to eat them and must settle for Doritos.


I get so caught up in needing to be able to do everything myself that I then inadvertently refuse to ask others for help and keep my needs and feelings bottled up inside.


Yesterday I put the clothes in the dryer, but never actually STARTED the dryer.


I would rather watch any movie on Disney+ than sit down and watch the news.


Like these last couple synonyms of terrible.

Bomb Pop Microphone

“I’d rather be dry, but, at least I’m ali-ive!” I sang slightly off key with Lady GaGa as I wiggled my hips in the center of my kitchen. I held a nostalgic Bomb Pop in one hand and was loading the dishwasher with the other. I took a lick of patriotic flavored ice between verses.

“Nananana lala bop bop innoce-e-ent!” I belted with Arianna, using the Bomb Pop as a microphone. I loaded the final plate into the dishwasher, tossed in the soap pod, then slammed the door. I danced in a circle a few beats before pressing the “start” button and moonwalking away.

The song on my stereo ended as I licked my popsicle stick clean. The silence between tracks was unexpectedly filled with a mechanical growl.

“What the…” I muttered, muting the stereo and cautiously returning to the kitchen. It sounded like a blender, then like unlubricated gears grinding together inside my dishwasher. I studied it a while, stained popsicle stick hanging from my mouth, eyes squinting as I assessed the situation.

“Oh, shit,” I cursed as the sound grew louder and angrier. I leapt forward and tore open the dishwasher, expecting to see dripping water and steam.

It was bone dry inside.

The popsicle stick fell from my lips and clattered on the ceramic tile as I realized the appliance was broken.

One minute I’m a care-free child, dancing to Rain on Me with a Bomb Pop, and the next I’m adulting, dealing with a broken appliance and a shit ton of nasty dishes from last night’s dinner.

Well, crap.

There are two kinds of adults. The ones who crawl into the dishwasher and fix it, and the ones who stomp over to the laptop and start dumping new appliances into a virtual shopping cart.

You can probably guess which one I am.

Thankfully, my husband is the former of the two and balances out my clicker finger.

Broken appliances are certainly on the “annoying list” of things that mean adulting. I’m thankful it was just the dishwasher, and not the massive water heater (we fixed that last month by hitting it with a hammer). Fixing or replacing broken things is just part of homeownership, and it’s something I’ve gotten used to after owning a home for seven years.

Doesn’t make it any less annoying, though.  

Things break. Adults fix. It’s this unbreakable cycle, just something we have to do.

Meanwhile, I just set my burgers on fire and overcooked the macaroni while I was trying to type this out.

Apparently, I have yet to master the multi-tasking part of adulting.

I’ll work on that.

Anyway. Not really sure what the moral of this story is… but my gut says it’s that it’s okay to sing into a Bomb Pop like a microphone when you’re 29 and breaking the dishwasher.

Let’s go with that.

Mechanic Bills and Buying in Bulk

“Get your ass offline,” I messaged my co-worker when I saw her online during her day off.

I’m so professional.

“I’m going!” She replied. “Just wanted to quickly log on and send the team some information… I don’t want to be the reason anything gets delayed.”

I know adulting = responsibility, but is there ever a time this immense weight lifts from our shoulders? Our work culture has evolved to the point where so many of us cannot even relax on a vacation day. Out of a 52-week year, we already only get 2-3 weeks of vacation. Why are so many of us STILL WORKING on those vacation days? Stoppit!

If something good could ever come from the ‘rona, I hope it’s that we learn to re-evaluate our priorities and re-calibrate our work-life balance.

“Fine,” I typed back. “When you’re done, log off and go day drink or play Zelda.”

“Ha. I need to get my car from the shop, then venture to Costco. Talk about a PARTY.”

“You wild animal.”

This is what we’ve become. Our days off are no longer bottles of wine and Nintendo Switch adventures, but rather mechanic bills and buying in bulk. I hope we can all find once again what really matters in life. Take care of yourself, be with your loved ones, and leave time to find those Korok Seeds in Hyrule.

“At least spending $2k on my car will prevent me from going overboard at Costco,” she added.

“Hopefully this will have your car good to go for a while.”

“Fingers crossed.”

Bizarre, Babbling, Bumbling Band of Baboons

We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re a bizarre, babbling, bumbling band of baboons trying to figure it all out. But we’re not alone.

Adulting is this bizarre status we all thought we wanted. When we got it, we wanted to return it, but didn’t have the damn gift receipt. If anyone knows where I can exchange adulthood for childhood at the age of 28, please, for the love of God, let me know.

Sometimes, adulthood slowly creeps up on you. Here’s a list of twenty things that tell you that you are, in fact, adulting now. Good fricken luck.

  1. Realizing how wrong you were to be in a hurry to grow up.
  2. When consuming an entire bottle of wine in one sitting is normal.
  3. Realizing boredom is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
  4. When you start referring to technological advancement as a “Capitalistic Ploy.”
  5. Accepting the frigid reality of having just 2 weeks’ vacation out of a 52-week year.
  6. Choosing a movie on Netflix based upon its runtime so that you aren’t up past your bed time.
  7. Doing laundry before you run out of clean underwear.
  8. When you start referring to the teenagers in the streets as “hooligans.”
  9. That moment you’re standing motionless in front of the wall of toilet paper at the grocery store, trying to figure out what the best deal is.
  10. That moment you’re standing motionless in front of the wall of toilet paper at the grocery store, because it’s fucking empty thanks to the ‘rona.
  11. Having the daily “we have food at home” talk with yourself on the way home from work.
  12. When “putting on your big girl panties” is both literal and figurative.
  13. When talking to yourself becomes “consulting the expert.”
  14. Using adult-like excuses to get out of plans you really regret making.
    • i.e. “Sorry, I can’t make it, I have to meet with my financial planner this afternoon.”
  15. Realizing just how wrong you were when you refused to nap as a child.
  16. Pretending you don’t have any money so that you can keep your money.
  17. Buying a Costco membership.
  18. Thrusting your eyes open and panicking at 6 AM when you hear the garbage truck coming down the street.
  19. When you regularly use words like “refinance,” “equity,” and “investment.”
  20. Developing a professional verbal filter and corresponding dictionary.
    • “Per my last email” = “Bitch, can’t you read?”
    • “I’m fine.” = “Fuck off.”
    • “I would be happy to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement…” = “You can keep your shit.”
    • “I can work with it and see.” = “You don’t know what you’re talking about, but I will make it happen because I’m awesome.”
    • “I will prioritize this.” = “I’ve got so much shit on my plate, but don’t worry, I can make your problems my top priority right now.”
    • “I need to use a sick day.” = “I’m completely healthy and just don’t want to see ya’lls faces today.”
    • “Thanks for that valuable input.” = “STFU.”
    • “Let’s do lunch.” = “Wanna GTFO and talk shit about everyone in this meeting?”
    • “What a creative concept.” = “How far up your ass did you reach for this idea?”
    • “While I appreciate your feedback…” = “Yeah, well, that’s, like, your opinion, Margaret.”
    • “I never thought about that…” = “No one asked you.”
    • “What’s on your plate for today?” = “Get ready, I’m about to drop a bomb on your entire kitchen table.”
    • “I am happy to spearhead this project.” = “Move over, bitch, let me drive.”  
    • “Allow me to process this.” = “Why are you talking to me before I’ve had my coffee?”

Like, follow, and share if you can relate. We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re a bizarre, babbling, bumbling band of baboons trying to figure it all out.

But we’re not alone.