No more excuses. No more writing the kind of introductions that I’ve read everywhere else a millions times about the long road to becoming a writer etc etc. The fact is I write stuff, and most of the time I don’t finish any of it. I should probably write a book about not writing a book. The title of this blog could be a strange paradox then, begging the question is it even possible to finish writing a book about procrastination? Who knows, but maybe we’ll find out. So far this week I’ve encountered these three:
Perhaps we might construct a category of dominant or root procrastinations. I don’t know about anyone else, but I got to say that there are times where this one is nine tenths of the problem, and that is:
Nothing is ever good enough, and as such this blog entry has been written about ten million times and never published. It gets to the point where you’re so disheartened because there are just so many ways it could be done, so many other ways of expressing the idea or writing that dialogue, that you feel like giving up. One of the things that a writer should remember is that it’s never going to be perfect the first time round. Or the second. Or, if you’re like me, ever. Truly it is a procrastination to worry over whether each chapter is actually how you want it. This probably is a confidence thing as well. It will never be good enough right? Well, no.
Peeling a sticky label off the front cover of a vinyl record is far more important than actually doing anything constructive because, goddamit! that sticker is covering up the artwork! And it tricks you, yes it does, because at first it starts peeling off nice and easy. You think you’re going to get it all in one hit, carefully working around the edges with your nails and oh so slowly peeling it back until disaster strikes and the label itself starts splitting, leaving behind the adhesive that needs to be worked off with lighter fluid.
This takes some time to accomplish.
The music remains in no way effected by this procedure.
Having not accomplished anything it is always good to fantasize about all the cool things that you aren’t going to be able to afford. The fact that it’s out of reach doesn’t preclude you from doing the in-depth research on it because it’s always best to inform yourself of all the options when committing to serious window shopping.
If all this sounds exhausting then kick back and put on a little bit of this:
Better? Good. The question now is, did I get anything done? The strange thing is that while you’re aware of how much you’re prevaricating, there is also the opposite which is that you’ve been chipping away at something for a fair few weeks now. Having shelved the meta-narrative intense novels and series whilst working and looking after my son (going on 8 weeks now) I’ve been working on putting a few old characters together with a few new ones and a missing map. The icing on the cake came over the past week or two while I was working and a little observation made by the Shingle Street posse about the name of a cheese came back to me. Brillat Savarin. What a name for a truly suave villain instead of a hero.
This leads to PROCRASTINATION #4
Contemplation of just how many cheeses exist, and if there’s one thing a prevaricator can do, it’s click the endless links found in Wikipedia.
And for those that suggested that you could write a book where everyone was named after a cheese I say this – never could a fantasy writer have such a great stock of names to use!
Anyhow, I’m inclined to discount that one as a proper procrastination as it’s more like research…… and I did it while I was sitting around bored at the office. Shhh, don’t tell anyone that I got paid to indulge in fantasies about cheese.
It was about this time that I came across both the hilarious review of the new Coldplay album at The Quietus which might make you feel a little bad when reading it because it has the merest hint of shooting fish in a barrel, and also the foul mental excretions of Richard Dawkins. It’s as if the man is trying to piss me off enough to hunt him down, dowse him in petrol and set him alight at the stake for heresy. I was going to fill up several pages ranting about how he doesn’t think children should be told fairy tales, but what’s the point. The man is a fool, and an intellectual bully who gets off on outwitting creationists.
And if he wants to foster a health scepticism in people then that’s going to include his own theory about selfish genes, a just so story about how we all came to be capitalists. The irony that a fairy tale might be masquerading as a reflection of cultural norms doesn’t seem to have reached him yet. Perhaps the notion that we are essentially nothing more than genetically determined, selfish individuals all alone in the cosmos is nothing more a reflection on his feelings of being a modern man in a godless universe where we are all strangers.
It doesn’t matter anyhow. The crusade to end human ignorance is a false one, destined to fail, just as his attempt to put me out of work will fail. As for the children, well, should we really feed their imaginations with things that are blatantly false? Shit, there goes CBeebies!
As for my own son, Three Hearts and Three Lions here we come!
Strange to think that a piece of classic fantasy was written by a scientist………