NEW - CRITIQUE SERVICE

I am now offering a critique and manuscript assessment service. For further details, please e mail me at janelovering@gmail.com

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Writers' League for Anti-Procrastin... hang on, just need to clean the bath...

Before I get carried away...go and listen to my dulcet tones as I am interviewed by Morgen Bailey!  Yes, a chance to hear my lovely voice in Real Life, as I spread words of wisdom...well, it's more chat really, but you might pick up something useful. Go to the Google's Feedburner and my interview is listed there right at the bottom.  Go.  I'll wait here for you.  Honestly, you won't miss anything, I'll just hum and wander about and write my name in the dust til you get back....



 There.



Now, this may come as a bit of a shock, but I have discovered procrastination.  It's an evil little thing that makes you stop wanting to do the fun stuff, like writing, and instead brings a deep desire to hoover the stairs, scrub the oven or leave blatant and obvious comments on the statuses of people you have never met on Facebook.

You all know me.  You know that I regard housework to be the Invention of the Devil, that no-one ever died of a grubby shower curtain (except that one time and I still maintain that wasn't my fault, he shouldn't have been trying to lick the pattern off), and that any time spent in detailed dusting of bookshelves is time that could better have been spent doing ANYTHING ELSE, and yet...  Here I sit procrastinating by drawing up mental plans (that's 'mental' as in in my head, not as in bonkers.  Obviously) for devices to remove cobwebs without disturbing the spiders.  Not that I care about the spiders, as such, but I've always held that hoovering up the cobwebs when you can't see the spider that made them is just asking for an enormous eight-legged freak to come wandering home one day to find its web gone and then to start RAMPAGING around your house like some kind of DISPOSSESSED NUTJOB, and you've only got yourself to blame if it lands on your face in the night and you wake to find it sitting beside you on your PILLOW, grinning and rubbing its hands together as it plots your fate.  Or something.





To you, this is messy.  To a spider, it's home.  Plus it's where it sits planning the best way to freak you out. 

And all this because I should be writing.  I know I should.  I open up the document, re-read the stuff I did yesterday and then go and wash my flannel.

I have ideas.  I have whole lines of dialogue running through my head, causing me to mutter as I go about my daily tasks, like an old lady in the supermarket. I can see my characters, I know their motivations, their downfalls.  So why the hell would I rather painstakingly pick all the lint from the inside of my duvet cover than write anything?

Answer - the procrastination worm.

There are cures.  One is to shout loudly at yourself (or, if you have staff, get them to shout at you).  Constantly reminding yourself that writing is not exactly rocket science (unless you are writing science fiction of course, in which case it probably is) and that you are privileged enough to have an indoor job with no heavy lifting, and that if you don't do it then your family may very well starve, or at least be forced to eat Lidl jam can work in some cases.  As can sitting in front of your computer writing any old rubbish until your brain is forced by your intellect to start making some kind of sense.  Nothing annoys an intellect faster than someone who insists on typing 'my blurgle ate my dog' over and over.


The third way is just to endure the infection until it works its way out of your system.  You won't get any writing done, but eventually you will have a sparkling clean house, a freezer full of home cooked food and your correspondence will be completely up to date.  You will, by now, be one hundred and five years old, but think of that lovely sparkly shower curtain!





For those of you who can't be bothered, this is what a clean shower curtain looks like.  Yeah, apparently they're not meant to have all that yellow gunk all over them.  I was surprised too.

Right.  I'm off now to pick bits of fluff off the dog and read through some DIY manuals.  Might even wash my flannel again. 

7 comments:

Ranae Rose said...

I absolutely loathe spiders...and I find that the ones WITHOUT webs are actually the worst! I mean, at least with a web-builder, you know where to find them. They're predictable. But the webless ground spiders that spawn in abundance where I live...well, they're spontaneously terrifying. This combined with the fact that I've seen them in my house as large as my hand has nearly sent me into cardiac arrest several times! I mean, they're so big that I've found my dog playing with out, picking it up in her mouth and dropping it repetatively...ugh! Now I've thoroughly grossed myself out (and probably anyone else who read this comment as well).

Happy Odd Girl said...

Well, at least you managed to get a very entertaining blog written. :) Thanks for making me laugh. Several times. :)

Jane Lovering said...

Ranae Rose - you and me both. Spiders are, as far as I'm concerned, just a massive waste of knees.

Happy Odd Girl - Why, thank you! Glad I gave you a giggle.

Elizabeth Currie said...

Personally I like spiders! We always nicknamed the 'house' spider of the day 'George'.
'George' would appear from the same corner of the room at the same time most nights; run across the floor and disappear into the opposite corner. Until the dog (also of the day) ate him. A short George-free time ensued until a new one miraculously appeared and the identical life cycle played out again...
Spiders apart though Jane, you don't have to find procrastination; it finds you. Most of the time it's there at your birth and grows up with you. The best you can do is learn how to manipulate it: a trade off. You don't want to clean the house? Find something you MUST write and house gets cleaned etc. You get the drift. Sometimes it works; but often it just gets the better of you anyway. I think the only way to get me to write that academic article I have been putting off for so long is to threaten me with another Jimmy Savile pic! Now there's your massive waste of knees!

Talli Roland said...

Ugh, don't even get me started! My house was so clean last week - my kitchen floor was sparkling (and if you'd seen the state of my kitchen floor beforehand, you'd know what a feat that is!).

Argh...

Dizzy C said...

Something else to keep you busy....
I have an award for you here

http://dizzycslittlebookblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/award.html

carol

Jane Lovering said...

I know, I know! And Dizzy THANK YOU! I shall be 'doing things' with this award just as soon as I emerge from the Cave of the Rewrite! I haven't forgotten...