Friday, 11 March 2011

Avoiding the chair

This feels like a frivolous Friday, so today I'm asking what are your favourite writing procrastinations? For me these are the things that feel like I'm doing something towards my novel, when really I should be sitting down and getting on with it. For example:

Notebooks - I have a bit of a notebook addiction and they are the perfect place to list out character attributes, re-write my major plot points for the nth time or even devote one to each character where I can list their every detail. Going over old notebooks to see if I've failed to incorporate any of the ideas also happens more than it should!

Research - A degree of research is necessary, but when I find myself wandering around Windsor just to check the layout of roads I already know well...

Writing room organisation - tidying my desk / room is never high on my list of to-do's but when I'm really in the mood to avoid sitting in that chair it seems endlessly fascinating.

Of course there are much simpler avoidance techniques like reading a book or slumping in front of the tv, but my favourites are definitely the ones where I can convince myself I'm at least doing something. How about you? (This is where I discover you're all a lot more dedicated than me...)

9 comments:

Karen said...

Editing what I've already done can become a huge source of procrastination, but like you I can at least convince myself I'm doing something useful! Also reading blogs, but again if they're 'writerly' surely that counts as work?

I have been known to voluntarily clean the toilets when I've run out of procrastinating tools!

Leatherdykeuk said...

No, I'm dreadful about procrastination. I'll do almost anything to avoid writing, and then feel guilty for not writing.

Captain Black said...

I'll do anything to avoid procrastination. I've even been known to write.
On a more serious note...

People who aren't familiar with the industry, think that software development is just computer programming; typing in lines of code. This could not be further from the truth, which is that there are many disciplines to the science and art of software. To name but a few: requirements, analysis, design, coding, implementation, review, testing, debugging, deployment, support, documentation...

Creating fiction (or non-fiction) is not just writing, for the same reasons as software development is not just coding.

Therefore, spending your time doing research, making notes in notebooks, organising documents, plotting, editing and so forth is not procrastination. On the other hand, spending your time watching what Stephen King calls the Great Glass Tit most certainly is. Must drag myself away from CSI.

These days we have to consider not only the processes that create the work, but the commercial aspects too. Marketing, promotion, advertising and the like. I wonder why we're so underpaid as authors.

And finally, where's my Americano?

andewallscametumblindown said...

Social media. Not to mention online Scrabble. To do any writing, I have to get away from the computer. ~Miriam

Debs Carr said...

I'm glad that writing in/looking through notebooks, editing (for the nth time), plotting, etc isn't procrastination because I seem to do more of that than anything else, especially now I've given up chocolate for lent.

I have been known to do the ironing and vacuuming instead of writing, telling myself that they're necessary evils. Amazing how I manage to avoid them at other times though.

sheepish said...

My nemesis is DIY.Which is why I am late with my comment, I just have to get on with the wallpapering, painting, plaster joints etc, etc!!! And of course it does need doing but not all day every day.And then cutting the grass because the sun is shining, taking photos of locations in my wip, well that nearly counts as positive. And I could go on and on but I really ought to be writing. Just time for a cup of tea first though!!!!!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Poker. Not the online, betting kind. I have a game on the computer. And Killer Sudoku. I find working with numbers allows my subconscious to work on word problems (sounds good, eh).

LilyS said...

at the moment its character building and by that i mean flicking through magazines and picking out people that look like my characters. Major procrastination alert!!

Denise said...

Karen - cleaning the loo is definitely getting desperate!

Rachel - The guilt is horrible isn't it. Only comes when I've no time left though...

Cap'n - Oh, I think my level of notebook organisation isn't that useful!

Miriam - ooh, online scrabble. I must remember never to look at that.

Debs - no chocolate for lent! I hope you have many, many notebooks to cheer you up!

Sheepish - bet your house looks lovely though!

Graeme - very well reasoned, I must come up with a better rationale for my avoidance techniques...

Lily - Now there's another one I could easily start doing...