Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Procrastination is a trap anyone can fall into. It's trapped me now as I'm meant to be doing a rewrite but I'm writing this instead. I'll start my writing in a moment, but first I'll go and make myself a cup of tea.

It's an easy trap to fall into and one that's hard to get out of. "I'll just check my emails," or any number of things can get in you way and interrupt your flow. So how can you avoid it? Here's my guide to the essentials.

When you get out of bed in the morning only allow yourself to do the following - Go to the loo and eat breakfast. If this takes more than half and hour you're procrastinating (or you might be constipated in which case I suggest laxative). Once done sit in front of your computer and start writing. It's that easy, but yet it's also so difficult. "But what about a shower and brushing my teeth?" What about them? You're alone in the house so who's going to care that your breath smells, or that you haven't shaved in a week, that your hair has enough grease in it to fry chips and that you've been wearing the same underpants for the last four days. What's important is that you sit in front of your computer and write. No looking out of the window, no checking your emails, no checking the news on TV, no playing your X-Box, no reading the paper and no making a cup of tea every five minutes. Set yourself a time to start and a time to finish and don't let you bum move from that computer chair until that time is up. And above all write, write like your life depends upon it.

"But what if I have a block?" Just write. Write anything, it doesn't matter what just as long as you write. It may well be rubbish but when you come to do the rewrite you can sort it out then, what you need to do is fill those pages. Don't worry about quality for the moment it's quantity that matters more at this stage.

There is one important question I ask myself every morning, "What is a writer?" If you answered with anything other than, "Someone who writes," or you had to think about it, then you're already procrastinating. Go and bloody write!!!


Dom Carver said...

It seems I had the button marked 'moderate comments' switched on and none were being posted. Stoopid me.

I have now corrected this so you may play catch up if you so desire.

mamma legend said...

Four day old underpants - the thought is exciting me.

Dom Carver said...

Why does that thought worry me?

Tim Clague said...

Good advice Dom. Start the day with an image of what you'd have liked to have done by the end. Does that 'end picture' involve looking at Google Earth. No? Well don't do it then thicky.

Olaf said...

My Olaf writing tip of the day: After 5 days, it is permisssible to turn pants inside out, thus giving another 5 days use.