Thursday, June 23, 2011

Burnout and Cooking, Oh and Smoke, too. Lots of it.

posted by Leisha

Tuesday turned out to be a pretty smokin' day--literally. As in the whole house filled with it, and we all still smell like a toxic campfire. Think of it as our new perfume. We're calling it Burnt Burrito. So sexy. Meowwwww! Want some?

So, how did we all end up burritofied? Let's just say Kid C decided he could cook. By himself. Without permission. Yes, be afraid. I'm still having nightmares. Shudder.

The first clue that something was amiss reached me as I worked in my office. A tendril of charring snaked into the room and coiled up my nose. The mom alarm in me spazamed, and I ran from the room to find the billowing burrito. Did you know that if you fricassee one of those they become weightless? Really. And they turn blacker than the heart of a demon. I know, I checked. Don't ask how, that is so another post.

I wanted to share a picture with you, but someone threw the burrito carcass in the trash, probably because of the smell, and I am not dumpster diving for a photo. Just know it looked something like this:

And did I mention the smell, because DANG!

I know you all are sitting there in your comfy chairs plugging your noses and wondering what this has to do with anything. When I stared down at the smoking remains of Kid C's impromptu lunch I saw myself. (Not literally. I'm way better looking than charcoaled burrito.) But figuratively, I saw myself all burned out, used up, and smelly from spending too much time writing and rewriting and then doing it all over again. And again. And again...and again. Does this sound familiar to any of you?

Now, writing really is like a burrito. It can be spicy and filling and so so good. But if you leave it on the burner for too long it dies, taking all the yumminess with it. Writing is like that. You need to find balance and time away from the fire. You need to take time to eat the darn thing and then eat something else. Something other than burrito. You need variety.

Yes, I'm saying you need time away from writing, or whatever it is you do. Not a lot. Not months or even days. But you need to shut the computer and live in the real world for part of every day or you will burnout or burn up. Either way it will be bad. And smelly.

And by taking the time to live, your burrito tastes even better when you get back to it.

Think of this as a warning for writers. Don't char your burrito.

Leisha Maw


  1. I miss burritos :-( So hard to get anything that even resembles Mexican food over here. But yes, don't we all know that burned out feeling? Hope your recovery is swift. I find it isn't a matter of how much time I spend away, but what I do with the time. I recover fastest when I switch gears completely and do something that I've wanted to do for a long time but never let myself because of time constraints.

  2. Great advice! It's good to actually see the blue sky, rather than describing it in Crayola terms with the curtains drawn. I worked in my garden this morning as the sun came up. The sky wasn't blue at all, mostly yellowish. And guess what? There's dirt under my nails and a few less weeds (my family will be so happy.) It's funny, but I'm suddenly craving a burrito, ha ha! Loved your post! Sorry about the smoke and smell.

  3. My kids favorite thing is to make at least one flaming marshmallow every time we go outside.


  4. Wow, that takes some brains to turn a burnt burrito into a writing lesson! But you, Leisha, pulled it off beautifully!

  5. Great analogy! And although the burned burrito wasn't cool for you, it made a great story for us to read! :) Hope the smoke clears soon.

  6. Hilarious post, Leisha. I'll try not to burn my burrito this summer.

    And did this happen, perchance, while you were writing? Seems like something always interrupts, doesn't it?

  7. Emily, anticipation. It's so important. I've made picking something to look forward to part of my week. It's awesome.

    Jonene, even weeding sounds fabulous when you write about it like that. I'm glad you saw some sky. :)

    Jolene, flaming marshmallows are awesome...well at least they look awesome. I like mine nicely browned and gushy inside. Yummm. Maybe I'll have to buy Smore ingredients. Summer is so fun!

    Ali, thanks. Maybe I spend way too much time around burned food. lol

    CL, the smoke is finally clearing. Sigh.

    Rebecca, how did you guess? At least my kids keep life interesting. :)

  8. Oh, I was just remembering the day my children picked all the candy off my beautiful, freshly hand-made gingerbread house because I spent the day writing and forgot to give them lunch.

  9. Rebecca, lunch? Am I supposed to provide that? Oh shoot. Kids? Kids? Great now what?


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