Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Procrastination

Sometimes I get a little desperate and have to pull a topic for this blog out of thin air, and so I end up asking a bunch of questions instead of providing much in the way of content. But not this week. This week I’m going to talk about a subject I know a great deal about. Something for which, were it an Olympic sport, there would be multiple gold medals hanging from my neck. Having read the title of this blog, gentle reader – you’re no fool – you know that I speak of Procrastination. With a capital “P.”

I am a past, present and future master of this activity (or lack thereof). One that is peculiarly appropriate to writers. No one gives me writing deadlines, despite my eyelash-fluttering hints, so I am helpless to resist the lure of the tangential mouse click. Stuck for a word? Browse the internet. Stuck for a next line? Play Hearts. Puzzled over where the damned story’s going? Dive into Fetlife and don’t come out. Enough diversions and lo and behold, I’m too tired to be creative! So much for that weekend.

I used to read the longest book I could find before I got down to studying for exams. A paper I wrote on The Brothers Karamazov was oddly short of references to the second half of the book. The dust bunnies under my basement stairs are entering into their third decade. My powers of delay and avoidance are truly epic.

I’ll just go and play a game of Spider -- .

Good game. It was one of the ones that piles up impassible cards on every row but lets you sort out the whole mess on the last deal. Yes, I won; thanks for asking. And, by the way, I’m pleased to say I’ve got my Hearts win percentage up to 35%. It pays to persist.

I’m actually quite prompt when someone else is depending on me. Over the years I’ve learned how to plan ahead, how to buckle down and work when something needs to get done. As for my secret hobby, believe me, I’d love to have another book out. But no one’s standing over me with a stopwatch. Or a Blackberry. Or a geological timescale, for that matter. If I wrote faster than a glacier moves, would the book be out before global warming floods my living room?

All this would make you think I haven’t written anything at all this weekend. Not so! I wrote a long email to my Dad (brilliant, if I say so myself), and this blog, and there are in fact a few more paragraphs inserted into my novel. I didn’t write yesterday; I had a headache. I can’t write when I have a headache.

I used to take forever to write a book because I had kids at home and had no TIME! It drove me crazy. I had fantasies of a place outside of time where I could go and get lots done (not to mention catching up on my sleep). I would have been ecstatic to have a tenth the time I have now, with no kids in the house. And now, what do I do with it?

Fetlife break – I’ll be back -- .

Hmm. Total pissing match on Fet Life Rants! What else is new?

The time issue is still there. I need vacations to focus on writing. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. But really, the big question is motivation. How much do I want to write this book?

Well, I’d want to a whole lot more if some editor had a date they wanted it by. Lizbeth, are you listening?

2 comments:

  1. You absolutely hit one out of the park with "As She's Told." Is it possible your brain is just asking for a much-needed rest in the creativity department?

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  2. Thanks Saundra. But AST was finished three years ago; I ought to be into some stage of creative recovery by now.

    There is an actual book I'm avoiding writing at the moment, which would probably not be bad if I got down to it. What I'm not any more is obsessive about writing. Anyone with an obsession-booster, please share.

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