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21 April 2011

PRODUCTIVE PROCRASTINATION OR JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE?

I've just spent the past couple of days painting. Not in the style of Monet or Rembrandt, I hasten to add. Just walls, kitchen and bathroom walls. I panicked at first, being away from the PC, as once you start these jobs you have to finish, and they seem to have a habit of growing into a full blown spring clean. But actually, on reflection, it's been a good 'writing' time. 


For one thing I've not been distracted by the Internet and my inbox. I read a piece by Lorraine Mace in the latest Writers Magazine last week about the perfection of procrastination on 'writing days'. I think it must be a particular affliction for writers, and unfortunately there isn't a  magical cure. One thing I have learnt though, is to develop a habit of  productive procrastination. Yes, that's right. Productive time wasting. But the fact is you're not. Wasting time that is. If you choose to procrastinate whilst doing something quite banal, it can actually help the writing process.


I probably did more writing in my head, with my tongue sticking out as I edged the window frame than I have done on recent 'writing' days. I sorted out the beginning chapter of my novel in progress, The Promise', something which has alluded me for weeks, I drafted out the outline of a Monday Muse, including the setting and two characters, I had numerous ideas about other potential writing projects, and edited several short story ideas where they had got a bit stuck. So all in all, not a bad time spent. And the kitchen positively sparkles! 
So next time you hit the avoidance phase, why not pick up a brush instead of a pen? Try it - you may be surprised!

Don't Think Just Write

1 comment:

vanessafrance said...

For me, the worst thing is sitting in front of the computer since I just fiddle around on the Internet. Following my enforced separation from my computer this week, my house became spotless and my garden impeccable. I also had more ideas than when I am surfing the net. So you are right, one needs to do everyday things to keep the creative juices flowing.