Help! AAAARGH!!

34 Calls for Submissions in January 2018 - Paying Markets

Blurring Boundaries

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Barbara

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Nov 10, 2017
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I seem to have caught an acute case of procrastinitis. Anyone else out there who is cleaning frantically, is out for a walk in the snow, cuddling their pets, ironing their underwear and sharpening their pencils just so they don't have to start their next novel? I've just finished backing up photos from January 2010, and am running out of ideas. I'm tempted to knock on my neighbour's house for a chat but I don't think they want to see me again just yet.

I guess it's time to bite the bullet and write.
 
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Don't dream of it until you've checked the back of the freezer, Googled a few festive recipes and re-arranged your bookshelves in alphabetical order. I wrote down my New Year's resolutions on 15 December last year and that took an hour or so.
 
Right there with you. I finished teaching a class via Skype this morning, thinking I'd get in an hour's writing before lunch. But somehow the laundry and a bit of shopping got in the way, and by then it was time to make lunch and pick up the kids from school and nursery. I've just packed the little man back off to school, and the baby is napping. So now, finally, it's time to write, right? Right.

Except I'm writing this...
 
Don't dream of it until you've checked the back of the freezer, Googled a few festive recipes and re-arranged your bookshelves in alphabetical order. I wrote down my New Year's resolutions on 15 December last year and that took an hour or so.
Ah, Yes, Mary, good point. The freezer. It needs defrosting. After that, I'll align the cutlery in the drawer.
 
Right there with you. I finished teaching a class via Skype this morning, thinking I'd get in an hour's writing before lunch. But somehow the laundry and a bit of shopping got in the way, and by then it was time to make lunch and pick up the kids from school and nursery. I've just packed the little man back off to school, and the baby is napping. So now, finally, it's time to write, right? Right.

Except I'm writing this...

Funny how laundry suddenly becomes interesting.
 
For spine-chilling fear, visceral horror and sheer other-worldly (other-wordy?) weirdness, nothing can beat a blank page. Pluck up your courage and start doodling in the margins. Everything will fall into place thereafter.
I think.
 
For spine-chilling fear, visceral horror and sheer other-worldly (other-wordy?) weirdness, nothing can beat a blank page. Pluck up your courage and start doodling in the margins. Everything will fall into place thereafter.
I think.

Well, Marc, you have a point, moi thinks. The good thing is that I have written the ending already, but it's the beginning that's causing me to stall ... Hey, I've just had an idea. I'm going to write it backwards.
 
I just spent two hours weeding...Two short stories half-finished sitting on my desk. So hard to work when the kids are on summer vacation already! (And already bored. Aaaaaa!)
 
I just spent two hours weeding...Two short stories half-finished sitting on my desk. So hard to work when the kids are on summer vacation already! (And already bored. Aaaaaa!)
Robinne, maybe you could get your kids to do the weeding?
 
I find the Internet to be an excellent way to waste time - not very imaginative of me, but the current political climate in the US is worth a couple hours any day.

Over the last week, I have also cleaned the apartment, including the windows, and decorated for Christmas. All this has been to avoid working on a short story that is just not right yet. Today, I am considering trying to cut a limb off the tree in my garden. Given the size of the limb and the size of my saw, that should take lots of time.
 
Robinne, maybe you could get your kids to do the weeding?
Ha! Fat chance. Actually, the girl is willing to weed, but not terribly thorough about it. I end up having to go back over what she's done. The boy...forget it. "I don't deal with living things," is his response.
 
I find the Internet to be an excellent way to waste time - not very imaginative of me, but the current political climate in the US is worth a couple hours any day.

Over the last week, I have also cleaned the apartment, including the windows, and decorated for Christmas. All this has been to avoid working on a short story that is just not right yet. Today, I am considering trying to cut a limb off the tree in my garden. Given the size of the limb and the size of my saw, that should take lots of time.

Patricia, have you considered using a Swiss army knife to cut the tree? That should take a while. You could also spend a fair amount of time researching precisely which blade to use best. I watched a documentary the other day, about how the knives are made. Fascinating. And time very consuming.
 
It's 11:15, and so far this morning I have accomplished nothing beyond walking the dog, which will have to be done again this afternoon and this evening, so I'm not sure it counts as an accomplishment. This post is intended to mark the end of my time wasting. Please.
 
If you don't feel inspired to write, DON'T! This is the perfect time to edit and re-edit what you have already written. This is a far bigger job than writing the first draft, and a critical job at that.
 
If you don't feel inspired to write, DON'T! This is the perfect time to edit and re-edit what you have already written. This is a far bigger job than writing the first draft, and a critical job at that.

Alistair, you have a very good point. Sometimes I feel pressured to create, and create, and create, and to put words down no matter what. I'm a writer after all. ;) Actually, yesterday I decided to sit back and wait for inspiration, while spend some time doing some character background work. Needs to be done, right? It made me realise I don't have an antagonist in the story ... oops.

Oh, and I might just send off my crazy animal novel.
 
Might, wait, sit back, considering, stall...all of this in one thread. Procrastinating about procrastination. An art form.
 
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34 Calls for Submissions in January 2018 - Paying Markets

Blurring Boundaries

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