I am easily obsessed by a myriad of things. Lately, it’s been these silly writing groups (no offense) and discussion boards. Before that, and during (I can, after all, multi-task my obsessions) it was a couple of short stories I’ve been working on. Before that, it was my novel. I don’t count things and I don’t wash my hands every few minutes, so I don’t think it is OCD.
Stupid, insignificant things can also make me obsess. I recently spent four hours looking for a box of light bulbs. The first place I looked was in the closet, right where the light bulbs are kept. They were not there. I moved things around to see in the back, I looked one shelf up and one shelf down: no light bulbs. Eventually, I emptied the entire closet, but still, no light bulbs. I searched the entire house, upstairs and downstairs, my mind becoming more and more frantic the longer I searched. I finally went to bed, exhausted from my frenzied search, and dreamed of light bulbs. I woke the next morning only to pick up the search back where I’d started, and there they were; in the closet, right where they should be.
I had to wonder about my sanity at this point. 1.) How crazy is it to devote four hours of intense searching to fricken light bulbs, 2.) How could I have possibly missed them? I had to have physically touched them when I emptied the closet.
In the end, I blamed it on the kids. I have decided that one of them, I’m not sure which, is evil and finds “mess with mom” to be a highly enjoyable game that offers hours of entertainment. At first I thought it implausible, after all, how could they possibly know I would go looking for a light bulb? Hell, they probably made the light burn out in the first place!
Knowing myself as I do, and having recently embarked on a journey of self-discovery, I have to ask myself: how much of it is true obsession? I am beginning to wonder if obsession isn’t just the biggest, most effective tool in my toolbox of procrastination techniques. I don’t remember now, but I’m fairly certain that when I spent four hours searching for light bulbs, I had been in the middle of something. I wasn’t just walking around the house, waiting for a light to burn out. And it doesn’t matter if they were right in front of me the whole time or if the evil one hid them (doesn’t matter to me, probably would to a psychologist!)
As I peruse various discussion boards, and as I spend hours reading blogs for writers by writers, even as I write this, I avoid doing what I should be doing, what I need to be doing. I like to tell myself that I am educating myself, and that education is never a waste, but I am lying. The big question is; why am I procrastinating? It should be no problem to finish either of the stories I am working on. I am not stumped or blocked. It would be a great relief to have either one of them done. So I ask, what gives? I will ponder that question for the time being, devoting such intense thought to it that I probably won’t get much writing done, ah hem. I am also going to try to not look at this board for at least the rest of the day. Everybody wish me luck. I’ll check back periodically to see if you did!