living, writing

How to avoid writing…

Having one of those days?  You have to write, you have targets to meet but everything that comes out is just blah.. forcing it is like painting a fence in the rain.  But everything you know and have been told about writing is running on train carriages through your head:

you can’t edit a blank page

writing is hard work

it is better to write a 1000 bad words than nothing at all

and so on…..

The Cambridge dictionary defines Procrastination as: “The act of delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.”

I am not bored, I am willing to work hard but sometimes my brain feels fried, my writing bucket is empty and I have to leave it alone for a minute and find something else to do. I resist, I have my work cut out for my, a schedule on the board and a self imposed deadline.

I have written my 1000 words of crap today and I am done.  I am not waiting for the muse, I am waiting for the kettle to boil.  I have also done my ‘pages’. My crap is written for the day.  I have tried editing my WIP, but there is a glitch in the story that I am not up to fixing today so I have set about finding things I can do to avoid writing today:

  1.  Clean the oven – this is an old favourite of mine.  I can highly recommend Selley’s oven cleaner it is cheap, very toxic and quick to get your bake-house shining.
  2. Walk the dog.
  3. Take pictures of the dog and post her photos on Instagram.
  4. Clean your desk, take care of those niggly little things that you promised to get to later: school notes, bill payments, hotel bookings, twitter.
  5. Clean out your drawers – all of them.  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, kids rooms…
  6. Weed the garden.
  7. Plant a new garden, will involve a trip to the nursery so research plants and make a list.  May need ice-cream.
  8. Buy some books.  About anything, but maybe at least one about writing.
    • I see an opportunity here to re-arrange bookshelf to accommodate new books, maybe should wait until they are delivered?  or not?
  9. Sign up for an online course, about anything. Could be about writing though, it all helps?
  10. Plan an elaborate dinner even though no one will be home to enjoy it because it is a karate night and you will all  be eating subway for tea.
  11. Read something.
  12. Watch something.
  13. Listen to something, a podcast, an audible book?
  14. Take the dog for another walk if she comes out of hiding.
  15. Make dog an appointment to see the vet for a check up due to her hiding from walkies.
  16. Still have to check Facebook!  lets see what all our wonderful ‘friends‘ are achieving with their clever, ‘I am so good I am a writer skills!’
  17. Pluck your eyebrows while telling yourself that you are a good writer, you are just having a bad day.
  18. Put on something lovely but comfortable and take yourself out for lunch.  Pull out the note book you keep in your bag, that pen you got for your birthday, order your favourite meal, and breath while flicking through one of their old magazines,  it will give you something to focus on while you eavesdrop on the couple at the next table.
  19. Write up a new schedule for getting work done.  Laminate it.  Everything looks better when laminated.
  20. Take a nap.
  21. Read a blog?
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Pre-NaNoWriMo

October 27th and I am home alone while my husband and daughter are at a regional karate grading in Kalgoorlie.

I stayed behind recovering from flu, I probably could have gone but I would be the worst for it on our return. Two nights and a 7 hour car ride either way. No thank you. I made an executive decision days away from Nano that I want to get myself prepared.

It’s hard sleeping without my husband of 15 years so I tossed and turned most of the night. Stephen Fry helped lull me back to sleep via Audible reading ‘The Liar’ during my restless night. But in the word of Sting “the beds too big without you” anyhow sad sacking aside.

I am Turing my remainding 48 hours into a pre nano retreat. I plan to be hot and ready to plunge in on Nov 1st with Delilah!

I woke up and after returning to bed with a cup of tea continued reading Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem. (For anyone that doesn’t know Chris is the founder of NaNoWriMo, and I along with many others have him to thank for putting me on the right track and getting my novels written. You can find his books and lots of great merchandise here.   if you haven’t yet registered for this year’s NaNoWriMo you can do that here.

Writing along with any type of desk or similar repetitive work is bad for your body so I will begin my day with Yoga, more specifically a series of sun and moon salutations. It’s not that hard you don’t have to be flexible but you do have to breathe, see not so hard? If you would like to learn more about my Body Peace Yoga you can find information here.

Later I will walk our Annie to the local park. But first it’s breakfast and some note taking about my protagonist with a focus her image and voice both are now starting to form and I am getting excited!

My most important task this weekend, is clearing the decks. Getting the household chores up to date in an effort to ward off the inevitable writing procrastination.

Next I charge up my working away from home appliances which include a set of noise cancelling headphones, genuine Bose from a market in Bangkok, so yes I am sure they are just as the salesman said.  What a great bargain at only $40 Australian dollars.  Next is the handy Bluetooth keyboard I can attach to my phone.  Working with google docs allows me to write anywhere and instantly update my novel as I go.

Finally in a effort to set a calm, natural environment I am loading up the atomizer with Doterra’s Whisper Blend (you can pick up some here) a pure delight to the senses while I finish some final reading.  Occasionally my writing life all comes together.  These are the moments I love to nestle into.  Great things are on the horizon in the new year.