Nah, I’ll write about procrastinating tomorrow.
Joking aside, procrastination is such an art form when you’re trying to write. I am possibly the most easily distracted person in the entire world when I’m trying hard to concentrate. I try – really try – to structure my day. It goes something like this.
4pm – get home from work. Make cup of tea, check emails/Facebook/Twitter/kitten feeds/guild forum/anything else I can think of to drag out time.
4.30pm – 6pm – WRITING TIME! In an hour and a half, I can produce a –lot- of words when the writing flow grabs me. But in that hour and a half, I probably spend about half an hour of it poking around the internet. Ooh, an email. Ooh, a Tweet. I wonder what the kittens are doing?
6.05pm – wonder why I haven’t done as much as I promised myself I would.
6.10pm – make more tea. Tell self off. Focus. Write more in the next 20 minutes than I managed in the previous hour and a half.
Everyone says ‘switching it all off’ and sometimes I do actually manage to do that. But when I close off my social feeds, I feel horrendously lonely. I write best when I’m the only person in the house and don’t have the distraction of being spoken to, but just knowing that my Facebook friends and Tweeties are there is oddly comforting.
Writing is a lonely pastime. Most writers I know would agree with that. It suits me in that regard; much as I get a bit frustrated at being by myself weekend after weekend, I also rather enjoy my own space. But no matter how hard I task myself to an hour and a half stretch (usually with extra half hour-hours thrown in at weekends or when I’m particularly productive), I rarely stick to it.
One of my school reports from years ago included the advice from a teacher to other teachers. ‘Don’t let Sarah sit next to a window’. That’s true enough; whilst things are going on, if I have a window, I’ll frequently gaze outside, letting my soul soar on the wings of a passing bird whilst my physical self goes through the motions of being present and correct. Or incorrect. I’m a daydreamer and always have been. My head is in the clouds most of the time apparently. Wouldn’t that get a bit cold after a while?
But… actually, that’s a perfect example of what an amazing procrastinator I can be. Even as I typed the phrase ‘head in the clouds’ in this blog, I thought ‘ooh, shall I go Google for pictures? For other suitably corny phrases?’ That’s how my brain works. I can take hours to look up a word in a dictionary or thesaurus. Another word on the page will catch my attention – particularly in the case of a thesaurus – and I’ll book-jump for ages and ages and eventually realise that I’m about a million miles from where I started.
I meander through the internet in much the same way. Someone might link a YouTube video and I’ll end up mooching off down the sidebar until I go from a Comedy Kitten Clip to a sand artist. I love the way things are linked together and enjoy following trails, particularly when they never end.
I don’t mind though. I enjoy having the multi-tasking capability of being able to be out the window fighting dragons whilst being present in the ‘real world’. I like to walk through the corridors of the hospital from meeting to meeting whilst plotting out the next scene of my story in my head. Sometimes I mutter dialogue to myself when I’m driving. I must look slightly insane whilst doing it, but I don’t care.
I’m always thinking. My brain is always creating and sometimes it gets more enthusiastic than it is at the important times. It’s a cruel trick of nature that my most productive time for writing has statistically proven itself to be 2am on a work night.
Curse you, brain.