A Writer’s Affliction?

One of my writer friends phoned me today. It was a nice distraction since I was wielding my Swiffer through the crevices of my ceiling fan. She and I see each other on a regular basis in writing groups, and communicate by email often. Yet it was nice to TALK to her.

Sometimes I believe I only speak to grocery store clerks, my cats, and my family members, and not in that order. Except when I visit my writing groups – then we all scramble for a word in edge-wise. Seems we suffer from the same disease, lack-of-human-conversation!

I’ve never been officially diagnosed with this condition, but I see it in others. And like any good American, I can recognize my affliction when it presents itself in others.

Back to my day – my friend asked me what I was up to, and we chatted a bit about writerly things and then hung up. Two things quickly came to my mind: that was nice! and hey, wait a minute, before electronic gadgets, I used to do this all the time!

Whenever I needed to phone a friend, (no not as a lifeline!) I would store up some chore to keep myself busy. Remember the day when we had portable phones? Okay, maybe you don’t, but think speakerphone.

After a day’s work, I would bang pots around in the kitchen sporting my sleek portable phone. Or on a weekend, when I was calling other parents about carpooling plans, I would sling the bathroom cleaner on the tub walls, dash around with the dust cloth, or sit as I separated dirty laundry.

But what happened? Somewhere I lost human contact for the more desired email and text messaging. I was free to let my analog answering machine catch my home phone calls, screening them later because I was ‘busy.’ Email enabled me to read messages whenever I liked, think about my response and craft some creative excuse or apology for ‘just seeing this now, sorry!’

So, in lessons reminded, I will make more phone calls. Friends, family and strangers, (well, maybe not the weirdo strangers) be on notice: I will be TALKING to you! I’m figuring that’ll give me more time to write. If I lump all those things I hate to do alongside a friendly conversation, I’m bound to have more time, write? (I couldn’t resist.) 😉



  1. i get too antsy just sitting and chatting on the phone, so like many, I swift my floors, straighten a drawer…no brainers while I’m chatting. If its a serious call, I sit. My friends & fam know that I’m not a phone talker so I don’t get many calls. But sitting at my laptop for hours isn’t the answer either. I’m looking at the clock and see that I need to get off my tush and take Popcorn for a walk. Loved this blog Roxie!

  2. Okay, I generally do not “talk” while doing chores so your scenario is interesting to me. We’re all different, right? I do find there are times when a real time conversation is great–when I’ve set aside time for it. Perhaps this depends on what the conversation is about? Dunno.

  3. Love the blog entry. I wonder if phone conversations are a thing of the past, like letter writing, and then I get in my car and notice everyone has phones on their ears.

    But I do love a long chat over a sink full of dishes. I’ve noticed, too, that the kids are worse off. My kids will text their friends and Facebook their friends, but do not ask them to call and ask a question. Not gonna happen.

  4. Dear Roxie,
    I find that I will do dreaded things like washing dishes or making up a bed while I am talking to a friend on the phone. It frees my mind of any inner emotional decree from my brain that says, “I’m not going to do this.” Without really realizing it, I’ve made the bed and washed the dishes, and am still smiling because I got to talk with a friend. I understand what you’re saying.
    I always enjoy talking with you on the phone or in person. You are a joy!

    Joan Y. Edwards

  5. *grins* Funny post and so true dear Roxie! Like you, my mail and text muscles are better developed than my vocals. But I do talk to my parents and girl friends on the phone. To make an appointment to meet in person for tea and chat.
    Good luck with the dust swiping and other domestic hobbies 😀

    1. great idea…we usually chat by email, ugh! I need to make more phone calls! Well said – domestic hobbies *grinning* those I don’t mind giving up, but who else who do it?

        1. Kaitlyn,
          thanks for pausing over this piece! Definitely a change in the way kids are growing up then when we did – good or bad, it’s true, devices we never had are attention seekers for our kids. When my dishwasher died I enjoyed the soapy water for a bit, then decided I fancied bubble baths for the whole body, not just the hands, LOL.
          I think I’ll use that phrase in something: domestic torture – too good not to add somewhere!
          Hmmm, houses ordering us around, maybe that one too, course I’ll give you credit, a one-line recognition in the fine print when I use it, tee hee!

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