my name is emily, and I’m a procrastibaker

procrastibaker_ehdI spent most of my weekend baking instead of writing.

Waffles. Pancakes. Bread. Muffins. Cookies.

You name it, I was baking it.

This is my process.

The other day I made a casserole, some muffins, and a new bread recipe before sitting down and writing 5,000 words. The first in a very long time (so it felt like).

Every writer has a process.

One of my favorite scenes from “Under the Tuscan Sun” is when she talks about how she procrastinates, makes brownies, and then becomes a writing machine.

I so relate.

I mean, sometimes I just like to bake, but truthfully it happens the most when I’m searching for something.

A scene. A character. An answer. A dilemma.

I’m searching for what will happen next, or how a character should feel, in the sugar and flour and eggs.

Much like writing through the distractions, I bake my way through my novel.

I am a procrastibaker.

Procrastibaker:

DefinitionSomeone who bakes to put off what they really should be doing, or bakes in order to help find what they are truly searching for.

See also: writers, Emily Herring Dunn, stress-eaters

If I get stuck, or I’m not quite in the “mood”, or I can’t sit down for three hours and push through because of, well, life– I bake. I procrastinate and delay writing by making a new recipe.

What’s sweeter than that?

Not sure.

I’m also not sure how this will work out for my waistline.

But whoever said writing was a glamorous life clearly wasn’t a writer.

Maybe it’s glamorous once you’ve had a best seller, but the writing process…definitely not GATSBY-like.

 

 

If you’re looking for some of my personal recipes, you can check out my other site: The Newfangled Housewife.

life & balance & seasons

imageOften times, I run through a day complaining about how little time I have. How much there is to do. What I need to plan for the rest of the week. Who I need to call or who I should get in touch with.

Go, go, go.

It’s so easy these days. I’m the worst at getting disconnected from living and reveling in this beautiful life, and instead just looking at it like a long to-do list.  Something to get through. Something to get DONE. And then, even if every day is slightly different, it all seems monotonous.

How sad is that?

I want to make a name for myself. I want to have a social life. I want to invest in my family. I want to have a foundation in Christ. I want to reach others. I want to lead by example. I want to have a clean house. I want to have a pretty yard. I want to do Pinterest projects.

Balance.

That was is my word for 2016. I had this idea that I would find the magical way to balance everything I wanted to do without stress and with a thankful heart/good attitude.

Admittedly, I probably didn’t realize how great of a goal that really was, or how heavy that word truly is.

“There is TIME for everything and there is a SEASON for every activity under the heavens.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is time for everything. There is a season for everything.

It just might not happen during the time I want it. Or the season I’m in may not be the one I’m looking for.

Now I’m trying to enjoy life. To bask in the season of my life that is the present, and remember that I can’t do it all alone. And if I keep trying, I’m going to keep falling on my face.

Right now, I’m putting one foot in front of the other and keeping my eyes up instead of down.

 

What do you do to stay in the present and balance what you want to do, and what you need to do, and what you “should” be doing?

a reader lives one thousand lives

one thousand livesWhen I was in high school our homeroom met for about ten minutes and the students were divided up the same every year. We were in alphabetic order, so I always had the same person sitting in front of me, next time, behind me…it never changed.

There was a kid who sat in front of me who always asked me how many books I had read that day, or that week. He especially loves Monday’s because he would get to ask me how many books I read over the weekend. Sometimes it was only two, sometimes four. Once I was so excited to tell him I had read seven books between Friday afternoon and Monday morning.

I think I started seeing it as a challenge. “I want to be able to tell him I read more.”

Near the end of our senior year, I finally had the guts to ask him why it intrigued him so much. Part of me was so afraid I’d find he had been making fun of me for four years, but the other part of me–the stronger part–wondered if it was just something to talk about. But his answer always stays with me.

“I’m such a slow reader. It amazes me that you can read so fast, and so many books at the same time, and soak up all those stories. I wish I could do that.”

I was floored.

Part of me felt proud. My older sister and I had times each other to see how long it took us each to read a page of a book since I was about eight. The other part of me wondered if he had a right to be amazed. Because I got to thinking, and asking myself: was I really soaking up all the stories?

Some of them, yes. I always go back to my favorites. But some of them were just fillers. Books to read to pass the time. Those books I couldn’t really remember.

Suddenly I began to panic. I’ve been reading WRONG. I should be slow…and steady…because that’s the true winner, right?

Well, I listened for a millisecond or so before I pulled out my book and started pushing through it. I wanted to finish it. To add it to my list. My ever-growing list.

Now that time and life have forced me to slow down, I’ve learned that I don’t mind having a shorter list. I know there are so many books out there, and truth be told– time and mortality will keep me from reading all the books that I’d probably enjoy.

Yes, that makes me sad. But I’ve come to terms with it.

Quantity isn’t quality. That’s how the saying goes, right? I’ve slowed down to picking new books with precision, and made sure to revisit books that I might have sped through. I revisit the timeless tales that are my favorites, and balance them with the new and exciting books I find on various shelves.

But I’m not reading for anyone else.

I’m not reading to brag about how many books I finished. I’m not reading to keep up with the literary crowd. I’m not reading to make a name for myself.

I’m reading to live one thousand lives. I’m reading to enjoy the beautiful words so many authors toiled over. I’m reading to go on countless adventures. I’m reading to learn lessons that can’t be lost in the pages.

I’m reading to, well, live.

“A reader lives one thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” -George R.R. Martin

If nothing else, I will read one thousand books before I die. Just so I can live up to this quote.

Do you have a numbered list of all the books you’ve read?

 

 

 

Make sure to follow my Instagram for more writerly & bookish things. Giveaways are in the future, starting with the 100 followers mark!

control freak confession

Truth: I am a control freak.

Myth: This is subdued when I’m writing.emilyherringdunn

I am a control freak. There’s no tip-toeing around the subject.

I like to do things a certain way. In fact, with some things I’m so specific that I don’t even let others attempt to help me.   It’s that bad.

In a world where so much is out of my control, I will admit that I suffer from some unprescribed anxiety. While I am learning to let things go and face fears, a place where my control kicks in to gear is with my writing.

But it’s a GOOD kind of control.

You see, there’s a sort of freedom to this control.

As my characters come to life, they help me realize that I can’t control everything. Somehow they take on minds of their own, and I have to sometimes go away from my original plan and follow their lead. But at the same time, I AM in control… because it’s my story.

(I promise I’m not crazy. Well… maybe a little.)

So why is this a GOOD type of control?

It’s a control that doesn’t cause anxiety. It’s a control that allows me to be creative, to get lost in the beauty, to forget the cares and uncontrollable problems that the real world offers.

And that’s also the beauty of reading.

I may not be able to control someone else’s actions, or make days go exactly as I planned, or understand the thrill of the unknown… but I can see the beauty of it all in a story.

There’s beauty in someone’s car not starting. There’s beauty in being lost at sea. There’s beauty in the secrets of a dusty old mansion. There’s beauty in the unknown future.

Andit helps my control-freak nature.

Truly.

 

I don’t use the phrase or label “control freak” lightly. I use it because I know what I am, and I know reading and my writing helps.

 

Does your love of reading or writing help relieve any problems you suffer from?

 

Are you in LOVE with my notebook? It was a Christmas gift. Check out The Journal Studio. (I am not on commission or a brand rep– I just love their products!)

the beauty of scrubbing toilets

scrubbing toiletsI hate scrubbing toilets.

There’s something about cleaning a toilet after knowing who used it last that makes it even worse. And that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Scrubbing toilets.

It doesn’t matter if you have to clean up a shared bathroom where someone pees on the seat, or you have to clean up after someone who tossed their cookies. It doesn’t matter if you’re forced to clean before you have a visitor, or after a visitor, or even if you have to clean your own bathroom. When it comes down to it, there’s a reason we all dread cleaning bathrooms. Because it’s gross.

And if you don’t agree with me, well, good for you?

But today I’ve been scrubbing toilets thinking about how much I HATE scrubbing toilets. And I think life in itself is just like that. You have to do things you don’t like over and over again because, well, that’s just how it goes.

If I was bitter about having to clean bathrooms, then every time I went to put cleaner in the bowl or sanitize the handle– I’d really get into a funk.

And if I’m being honest, sometimes that DOES happen.

But that’s not how I should be going through life. Always in a funk over the next worst thing.

What does this have to do with anything?

Attitude.

Life is hard, and there are many parts of it that suck. But if we focus on the hard things and what we hate about them, we miss the beauty.

Like the beauty of meeting new people. The beauty of helping someone who needs it.

Like the beauty of getting to sit down and write something. The beauty of discovering a new story, or the beauty of reading a story that never gets old.

Life is made up of beauty and bitterness alike. Today I’m choosing not to be bitter, or resentful. What about you?

 

To answer the question I know you’re dying to ask:

I still haven’t found what’s beautiful about scrubbing toilets.

But when I do, I’ll make sure to let you know.

 

Looking for something sweet? Head over to The Newfangled Housewife for a Red Velvet Donuts recipe!

red velvet donut