Deb Joanne Fights Off Gorillas and other Temptations

I have very few vices. I quit smoking just over 12 years ago, and I rarely drink, so I’m pretty squeaky clean. Well, mostly. We already discussed comfort foods, and there are the times when the Gorilla Cheese truck gets so close that I am unable to resist a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Oh and there’s Tally Ho—the roast beef on a bun place in my hometown that calls to me every time I drive by it.

So. Temptation. The notion of temptation implies something we should resist doing, but are strongly drawn to anyway. No one ever says, “I’m SO tempted to go to the gym and work out,” or “I’m SO tempted to drink that wheatgrass juice”*. Nope, at least, no one I know says those things. The people I know say things like, “I’m tempted to skip the gym and go to Tally Ho,” or, “Instead of mowing the lawn with my face, I’m tempted to stalk the Gorilla Cheese truck—that’s exercise, right?”

But to make this post about writing, I’m not going to talk (more) about my food temptations, but my writing one, and take a little look at its causes.

I’ll be honest here and admit that I am very often tempted to not write. In fact, I’m sure every writer, beyond the very first exciting sentence they ever wrote, has been tempted to not write at one time or another. Writing is hard work and I’m tempted all the time to just not do it.

Like when I sat down to write this post, I was tempted to NOT write it and instead, do a thousand other things, including stare at my shiny new bookmarks for a while.

Aren’t they pretty? Say it with me: “Ooohhhh, Ahhhhhh. Shiny.”

But why was I tempted not to write? If I’m honest with myself, it’s because I really had no idea what I was going to write about, (which should come as no surprise to you if you read last week’s post). So, in other words, I was stalling. But I still needed to get this post done, so I forced myself to put away the bookmarks and the internet and opened up my Word doc. And stared at the screen for a while. And then went back online and found some pictures to include. But in the end, I needed to ignore the temptation to stall and wander and just get the work done. Sometimes, I need to put more brain effort in and sometimes I need to just eliminate distractions (goodbye, Twitter!), but in the end, it’s just a matter of being strong and facing that temptation and not giving in until the work is done. My writing motto, ripped off from Nike is “Just Do It”, which applies as much to writing as it does to sports.  You can’t win against temptation unless you just do it. Butt In Chair. And I guess I usually win, because I have written a lot of books, and there hasn’t been a day spent writing that I haven’t been tempted to do something else. Like go get a grilled cheese.

Your turn: what tempts you away from your writing?


*Uh, have you ever had wheatgrass juice? That stuff tastes like lawn. Gross.

14 Replies to “Deb Joanne Fights Off Gorillas and other Temptations”

  1. Reading tempts me away from writing. And it’s insidious, too, because it’s so easy to tell myself that a good writer HAS to read a lot. It’s part of the job. Which is true–that’s why it’s so insidious!

    So, really, it’s all those other writers’ fault.

    Also, I came close to tasting wheatgrass juice once, but then I smelled it, and came to my senses before I actually drank any. 😉

    1. I’m the other way, Linda – I need to read more (for the reason you mention – writers DO need to read a lot) and writing actually keeps me from reading as much as I should (and I’m a slow reader, which sucks). And I’m so glad you dodged the wheatgrass bullet – that stuff is heinous.

  2. Well, I’m here now, not writing… I SHOULD be finishing up my query letter then writing a few blog posts and maybe, if I’m really good with my time (which I totally won’t be) I’ll get to some editing. Hmm…maybe I’ll go for a little bike ride first to clear my head…

  3. Thanks Joanne, now I want Tally Ho with a side of Gorilla Cheese. And if the Cupcake Diner truck happens to be in the vicinity, well, you know how that goes. 😉

    Guess what? I’m supposed to be writing right now. So I shall take your advice and turn off the distractions. Bye for now, Facebook!

    (Love the bookmarks!!)

  4. Those are some AWESOME book marks, Joanne! And definitely worthy of distraction!

    For me, it’s often the internet (not very original, I know) but often times too it’s my sweet little ones who come calling with offers to play Barbies. Who could resist? Not me.

  5. SUPER book marks J (I don’t have any yet how come) just kidding bring me some tomorrow when we have dinner.

    Distractions, wonderful word, I believe that word relates to everyone in life at one time or another or all the time. But Tally Ho J YUK YUK YUK, now the Cheese Truck or Dim Sum yes go for it that could distract me from any thing any time day or night, including cooking which I love to do.

    See, your blog today has distracted me from tiding up the house and being at a couple of appointments before I have to go play maj at noon (you got it nothing will distract me from Monday maj and Tuesday maj) well maybe a holiday away.

    Okay seriously we all are creatures of Distractions, having said that and agreeing with Carrie we just turn them off and do what has to be done, right Debs, that’s why you all write and I read them all every week right here on

    See you all next week, I really really have to stop being distracted and get to work!!!!!!!!

    1. Geez, Mom, I only got them on Saturday! But yeah, I’ll bring you a bunch tomorrow. You know ALL your kids are suckers for the Tally Ho – Roast beef on a bun with double swiss cheese and gravy (which tastes even better on a Jewish holiday, for some reason).
      Okay, enough futzing around on the internet for you, Marcia – get to work (or play, as the case may be for you).

    1. I’m sorry to tempt you away from writing, Jocelyn (not really – I’m selfishly quite pleased that I’m able to). Thanks for giving in today and stopping by. 😀
      And yeah, isn’t that motto perfect?

  6. Time. I don’t have enough time. I need to start saying no to everything and make my writing happen more often!

    And I agree, I don’t drink the juice of anything solid except fermented grapes.

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