In Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s novel, The Angel’s Game, his character, David, a writer by trade with a new assistant, Isabella, said the following:
‘One of the first expedients of the professional writer that Isabella had learned from me was the art of procrastination. Every veteran in the trade knows that any activity, from sharpening a pencil to cataloguing daydreams had precedence over sitting down at one’s desk and squeezing one’s brain.’
Of all my writing skills, I think procrastination is by far the most developed. I truly excel at the art.
This week I did the following:
- I re-arranged my study. Again.
- Scrubbed the stove, with a toothbrush.
- Meticulously blow-waved my hair before picking the kids up from school.
- Sorted and repacked their puzzles.
- Googled. You can call this research.
- Made tea. This trick is two-fold. It guarantees a bathroom break.
- Stared at my character boards.
- Dusted my keyboard. With an ear bud.
- Paged through old magazines. This can also pass for research.
- Observed rabbits. I have several in my garden. This could also be research. Not that I am planning a rabbit book, but who knows.
Or of course, you can write an article about procrastination and that seems to be working because at least I am writing again. No more bunnies. No more Google. (I unplug my Wi-Fi if it gets very bad.) No more tea.
Stephen King says never stop writing, not even for a bathroom break. I have never tried this one in particular. Nora Roberts says find someone to kill (a character, she means a character) and Ray Bradbury says you only fail if you stop.
So I guess we’ll keep writing then, but feel free to leave your favourite procrastination tip in the comment section below. I am always looking for new ideas.
by Mia Botha
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- The Writing Muse I Really Need
- A Writer’s Sketchbook
- What Watching Disney (and Pixar) Taught Me About Storytelling