Everyone who has ever studied, or worked towards a deadline knows how easy it is to fall off the work wagon. Check out my preferred proscrastinations below.
Real life work.
Yes, the bills need to be paid, and yes it gets tiring – travelling to work, staring at a computer screen all day, making conversation with the necessary people.
I’m the first to say I’ve definitely skipped sitting down at my writing desk in pursuit of wolfing down a box of cookies in bed, soothing myself with that mind numbing staring-competition that only television can offer.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Harper Lee’s friends funding her year out to write – although even if I completely forgot what my office looked like, I’m not sure I possess even a tenth of her genius.
Now of course, we all do need to relax, and a movie or a sitcom are great for this. However, there is something which has a potent pull all it’s own – youtube videos. First, you just wanted to look at something you were researching, listen to a lecture, or see an interview with your choice author – all perfectly in line with work.
However, most people reading this will know, one does not simpy watch one youtube video. I can pop on there to check out a podcast for five minutes, and find myself watching lesser known Britney Spears’ videos*, two hours down the line. The struggle is real guys.
*Yes I love vintage Britney, no, I’m not ashamed. I mean, have you seen Crossroads?
My own brand of OCD
This is something that I’d be interested in hearing if other people suffer from. I will put off actually sitting down and picking up a pen, because of insignificant circumstances. For example last night, I couldn’t find a lighter anywhere, which meant no candles. So I skipped it. Insanity.
Similarily, I did absolutely no writing whatsoever in my new space until I had my writing corner. I kept making the excuses that I needed my pinboard and all my notes up before I could make a dent in my work – as if it ever took more than a pencil and some paper to create literature.
This one is standard. It’s pretty much the law that you’ll be itching to write just when you’re clocked in to your 9-5 (I’ll have Dolly in my head all night now), or stuck at an obligatory family meal.
And in just the same way, you’ll be in quite the wrong mood the second you free up some time to wax poetic. Either you’ll be overly excited and ready for a glass of wine (other poisons available) and a chat with your nearest and dearest, or you’ll be full of melancholy and want to lie down and think about how insufferable the world has been today. What, just because I studied English, I can’t inject a little bit of drama?
This last one is a bit naughty but I’m sure most people will recognise this in themselves. I have a sizeable wanderlust, as evidenced by my browser history – Norwegian Air’s low fare calendar is my favourite site for lurking.
I’ve only got one vacation booked for 2016 – staying at a girlfriend’s apartment in Bansko, Bulgaria for a long weekend of skiing and cocktails in the snow.
A lot of my travelgasms come before a trip though – preplanning, researching, finding hidden gems to visit and explore are half the fun. Of course that all takes time, meaning time away from the written word.
I’m a big believer that you should try to make contact with your work as much as possible. That doesn’t mean you need to be a machine, churning out a quota everyday – I’m definitely not a NaNoWriMo kind of girl, more on that at a later date. I just think it’s best to be as in touch with your writing as possible, whether it’s splurging on an addition to the word count, making notes on research for an unwritten chapter, or even just rereading and letting it wash over you as a text.
And I’m sure most of you are like me – reading something familiar is just as relaxing as a night in front of an old episode of Friends. I guess the most important thing is to remember why you started, and how much you love the craft. After all, nothing worth having ever came easy.