Thursday, March 22, 2012
I'd Rather Be ...
Let’s face it—writing is hard. That’s why I avoid it whenever possible. It’s amazing how the most boring, horrible tasks magically become alluring when it’s a choice between them and sweating blood over a notebook or a keyboard.
Here’s my typical writing day: get up, have my morning tea, write a couple of sentences or maybe a paragraph, and then do one of the following: Laundry, housecleaning, dishes, shopping, read, watch TV, play computer games, exercise (only as a last resort), visit the library, eat something, drive over to the grocery store to get more stuff to eat, yard work, clean out drawers … well, you get the idea.
Grocery shopping is a wonderful time-waster. There are any number of stores I can visit and poke around in for at least an hour. Then I come home with junk food, which I can munch on while watching TV. See how it all ties together?
For blowing off an afternoon, you can’t beat the library. I don’t have Internet access at home, which is a good thing because if I did I’d probably never leave the house. Once on the Net I can do an endless circle of checking email, checking blogs, reading posts on my favorite writing forum, check my sales numbers, read fan fiction, read excerpts from other writers’ books and call it research, look up weird stuff on Google and call that research, watch stuff on YouTube, and so on yea unto infinity. When I get bored with the Net I go in and read the paper and sometimes browse the shelves. Or I can bring home a flick or TV series on disk, just in case there’s nothing on any of my 80 cable channels.
I know a writer who actually goes to the library to work. Takes all kinds, I suppose.
This is why it takes me forever to get a story done. I could finish a 90,000 word novel in a month if I didn’t fart around all the time. Sooner or later, though, even procrastination loses its appeal. I get so bored I finally go back to writing. That lasts for about a page or two, long enough to remind me just how difficult writing really is. Then it’s back to the TV to see what else is on. After about six months of this, I accidently finish something and end up sending it out. Then I go through the whole twisted process again.
I understand I’m not getting any younger, and I’m wasting a truckload of valuable time on stuff that doesn’t matter. I’m trying to readjust my bad habits and become more productive. But hey, at least I’m good at something. I may not be the world’s best writer, but I’ll bet I’m in the top ten when it comes to procrastination.
On some level I really do want to be a writer. If I didn’t, I’d go out and look for a job.
There, just blew off about fifteen minutes coming up with this blog. I should go write something now. Or I could draft another blog. Or see what’s on TV. Or play computer solitaire. And how is your day going?