• Blog

    Procrastinating on a Musical Monday


    Sydney Harbour BridgeI often say I could procrastinate for Australia. so accomplished am I at this under-rated skill. If there were state selections I’d definitely final.

    To me procrastination isn’t putting stuff off forever or never doing it, but rather putting it off until it wakes you in the night, distracts you from other things and gives you a cold sweat at the mere thought of it, whatever it is.

    This I am amazing at this.

    The things I procrastinate about fall neatly into two categories – things that scare me and things that bore me.

    I think we all have things in that second category. Mine includes folding laundry, sorting mail, anything tax related and anything involving the more technical aspects of the computers (as this translates to my writing anything on Amazon or Createspace). It makes that we don’t relish doing these jobs but like them or not they don’t go away.

    The first category – the scary stuff – also makes sense but putting it off usually doesn’t minimise the fear. My experience of doing this for MY ENTIRE LIFE is that the fear grows bigger, it’s shadow looms larger and it’s weight grows heavier.

    Often the things I’m scared of are new things.

    The truth is it usually takes longer to master something new so one really should take all the available time not leave it until there’s simply not enough but logic and fear have never been logical companions. Sometimes the new things are even opportunities and then you have to add in that little voice that asks “do you deserve this opportunity?”

    Procrastinator and self-sabotage – what a charming picture I paint.

    My to-do list this week is alarmingly long because of the above but today I have scratched my big black pen through quite a few line items. That’s terrific but it leaves me asking as it does every time – ‘when will you learn?’ My guess is never.

    (FYI -I don’t consider flaking out and not completing tasks procrastination. I do eventually get everything done. I don’t miss deadlines that affect other people because at my core I’m embarrassingly polite and it’s rude to mess other people around.)

    So after that we need a perky tune for a Monday. This song is one of my current favourites. Yes it is about a breakup but it is also about a girl going after what she wants and I like that a lot.

  • Blog

    Research or procrastination?


    Question Mark and PenI’ve done a lot of research this weekend. Honest I have.

    I looked up places for my various books on Google earth. Am I the only one who feels like superman when the globe spins and I go from Sydney to Los Angeles in a matter of seconds.

    I also planned aspects of my LA research trip for the as yet un-named sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels, that has to be research right? I mean obviously I must know what is on the menu at The Getty in LA a full month before I visit it.

    I might have also done some research on Serendipity 3 in New York because that places and it’s frozen hot chocolate may feature in an upcoming book.

    As a writer you do need authenticity. If you describe a real place it needs to feel real and the only way to get true credibility is to visit or visit via the inter-webs. However, it is a fine line between research and procrastination.

    It’s very easy to get sucked into the vortex and suddenly realise you’ve spent two hours on your computer and not written a word. (And that’s without twitter, Facebook and all their social media buddies). I think it’s a fine line between research and procrastination – it’s like when a teacher gives a child ‘busy work’ to occupy them but maybe it’s not advancing their cause any. (Any Aussie’s out there remember the SRA cards of the 1970’s – OK I just Googled them? How can they still exist?)

    Anyway, if you’re a writer how do you balance research and procrastination? (I imagine for Regency writers or people writing historical novels this must be even harder to balance!)

  • Blog

    Procrastination and editing – natural friends


    Statue of LibertyAlphabet Dating is set in NYC!
    I wish procrastination was an art that reaped rewards. I’d be a multi-award winner, I tell you.

    I know lots of people procrastinate and where writing is concerned the thing I put off and dance about and make myself sick worrying about and avoiding is editing.

    Today I’ve done a massive edit of Alphabet Dating. Why it has taken me until today to do it I do not know. I think I work better with tight deadlines. Also, I avoid things I’m not naturally good at.

    I love the blank page and the possibility of heading off on an adventure with new characters as they weave their way through adventures and chaos. Re-writing those adventures, conceding that you’ve overused certain words or under-written ceratin sections, well, that’s a whole lot less fun for me.

    I have a close friend who works in the corporate would and she says “we’re not finishers, Mon.” We’ll both work on a project for a year and then put of writing the final report, which might take a matter of hours. I’m the same when it comes to invoicing for my day job. You’d think, given I won’t get paid if I don’t invoice I wouldn’t put that off right? Wrong!

    I think I dislike editing because it holds a mirror to the flaws in a novel – I do realise the whole reason you edit is to fix them – but I think it makes it very real. This book has been two beta-readers. It’s been given a good edit. I’m re-editing it. Then once I finish I’ll then send it to someone else to re-edit. And then maybe someone else as well. After that however there’s nothing left to do but send my baby out into the world…I think that’s why it’s scary and why we put it off…not just me, loads of writers do it.

    I think that’s why editing and procrastination are natural friends especially if like me, procrastination is pretty natural anyway…why do you procrastinate?


    3/27/2013 12:42:56 pm

    I procrastinate about anything I dread doing: laundry, the recycling at work, marketing, blog writing and posting. The funny (perverse) thing is… the longer I procrastinate, the longer that horrible task–whatever it is–hangs over my head. When I finally just pull up my big-girl panties and do whatever it is, it’s done. Except laundry. That’s NEVER done.