Good Friday, gentlepersons.
I’m ending this working week with my top 5 excuses for not writing. Perversely, they include, well, work. But that’s not the point. Because I have so many writing projects I intended to have finished by now, and my success rate is only marginally better than that of an Irishman at a speed dating event for taller-than-average Dutch people.
And although not one of these excuses is allowable, I attempt to defend each of them because if I didn’t, I would actually have to write something useful.
1. The Day Job
I spend 97.985% of my working day at the moment buried in spreadsheets which contain thousands of teeny tiny moving parts. My eyes are like Cookie Monster’s by the time 5pm lopes around. I can barely focus on TV property shows at night, let alone a pile of text.
2. The Blog
My creative brain only appears to work in short bursts right now. So if I stop by the blog for a spell, any resulting posts, tidying, or fumigating send my brain into a roped corner of belligerence, where it tells me “Look it, Tara. That’s all you’re getting for today. Now feck off and let me watch Grand Designs.”
Ha, ha! You thought I meant porn, didn’t you, you dirty yoke, you!
Many, many writers will tell you that as soon as you sit down to write anything, you will immediately be able to think of nothing other than unwashed cups, mottled carpets, centuries of dust and a burning desire to call an exterminator to check under the floorboards. I become exceedingly houseproud when a few hours’ writing loom. The rest of the time, I remind myself of the extraordinarily pungent electronic engineering student I once shared a house with in college, who didn’t change his bedsheets for 11 months.
(Hey! I only said I reminded myself. Not that I let things get that bad. I just like to have an extreme line of filth against which to compare my relatively clean dustiness and less – well – biological grime. He actually moved house during that 11 months, by the way, merely transferring the manky sheets from the old bed to the new one in the process. Urghhh.)
4. The News
It generally goes like this:
[When I hadn’t intended to write]
My, that headline is dreadfully boring. No-one would ever want to read an article about that.
[When I absolutely need to write]
Gosh. Here’s an article which explains in detail the difference between regional European election data today, and15 years ago, when I wasn’t here to vote. I must read it in full immediately. And the comments.
5. Goldfish Brain
Let’s try a stream-of-consciousness technique on this one.
I should write. I’ll check my e-mail first. Ah no sure I only did that 5 minutes ago. But that was on the PC, not the phone. I should update my phone. I’ll check Facebook. But that always makes me feel a bit dirty. Like watching a something with a Kardashian in it. Feck. I forgot about that comment. I should’ve replied 2 days ago. I’ll do it now. But I don’t know what to say. Later so. I have to pick up bin bags later. I keep forgetting. Wow, that girl has duck feet. They’re actually spilling over the sides of her shoes. Even though she’s a tiny person. I wonder does she know. Obviously not in those shoes. I should work that into a character some time. Oh yes. I should write.
Know what I mean?
What keeps you from writing? I know the internet is creaking under the weight of 4,309 daily articles from writers about what makes them procrastinate – so much so that it’s gone straight past irony into passé pop culture – but tell me anyway. After all, if you weren’t procrastinating over something, you wouldn’t be here, would ya now?