It’s not procrastination if someone else does it for you

If there’s one thing I know I’m not alone in when it comes to writing, it’s the inevitable procrastination techniques. These are many and varied, ranging from the fairly useful ‘I must have some coffee before I can concentrate’ to the ridiculous ‘I can’t do anything until I have found out everything there is to know about the mating habit of octopi’ and even more pathetic ‘what is everyone I’ve ever heard of saying on Twitter today?’

Most people do it to some extent or another. My favourite is to write about half a page then flick onto a news or social networking site for a few minutes and back again. On one hand, it’s a total waste of time, but on the other I think I need that break to let my brain work things out for itself. Like, most problems sort themselves out when they’re not directly confronted (when it comes to writing anyway!) I doubt many people would say it’s a good habit though, I’ve read plenty of writers saying in interviews that they think complete solitude and silence (mental as well as physical) is the only way to write well.

Anyways, in the spirit of productive procrastination, I recently colour coded the different narrators in my wip, mainly because I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to wrestle some kind of balance between them. Ink then kindly charted the resultant figures for me and sent me a nice image, he said apparently lots of folks do this so I guess I’ll be in good company.

I’m pretty happy that it looks almost exactly how I thought it would and almost the way I hoped. If only I could always get someone else to do my procrastinating for me, I’m sure I’d save a lot of time.

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12 responses to “It’s not procrastination if someone else does it for you

  1. I too use your tactic, write about 500 words, check out twitter or facebook or read a blog post 😉 I think a little distraction is good for the brain! Nice coloring by the way 🙂

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  2. Love the image! I just ramble on, ramble off, edit and hope for the best (or worse). Sometimes I don’t know which topic I’m going to write about that day on my blog – I just click ‘new post’ then sit there wondering, debating, procrastinating, looking at my categories, looking at past posts – some diversion eh…..then I go on Twitter, but I soon come back!
    Complete solitude? wouldn’t it be lovely!
    Note to myself: must stop using ‘lol’ and find out where to get those smiley face things from…or…….shall I just put hehehe? no, what’s up with lol anyway? no, smileys for me…I think? I think I’d better think of that again hehehe!

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  3. I like your color-coded graphic (and tactic), too! Thanks for updating the link, I’m glad I clicked over. Like you, I can spend way too much time online if I’m not careful. Other than the usual (WordPress, Twitter, etc.), I get sucked into reading TV Recaps at EW.com (particularly the recaps about LOST).

    Looking forward to reading more about your writing/editing!

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    • hehe, TV recaps are a new one on me, I’m not going to check them out in case I pick up a new bad habit! Thanks for popping over, I’ve been sneakily enjoying reading about your progress for a while now I must admit. 🙂

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  4. I use a similar process. I’m what I call a spurt worker. I work in an intensive spurt, then I play in an intensive spurt. Rinse. Repeat. :shrugs: It works for me.

    (Never let anyone tell you to quit! Scientific studies say productivity jumps hugely if people take a ten minute break EVERY hour.)

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