Saturday, 21 August 2010

Perpetual Procrastination ~

When I said my father-in-law called me Perpetual Motion, I think it's time I re-named myself, Perpetual Procrastination, Princess of !

Okay, so I've had a few days away, in Portugal, in Vilamoura to be precise, an attractive marina moored with million pound motor boats and surrounded by a Chinese restaurant, a Thai restaurant, an Indian, a handful of Italian bistros, an English karaoke bar serving food, an Irish bar and a few tourist shops with unhappy sales staff. I wondered where the Portugese restaurants were but during my short stay, had to admit I only had time to visit the restaurants nearby, namely, the list above. Apart from the sun, I may as well have stayed at home. However, I rested, sunbathed [not too much and with factor 15], watched the occasional aqua-aerobics class, ate sensibly and savoured the occasional glass of Mateus Rose.

My daughter's been home for a couple of days. My mother's been ill. My son is 18 this week. And so, my baby, my debut novel lies on the left side of my desk, lethargic, collecting dust and biscuit crumbs once again as it waits patiently for my attention, for some TLC, an interested glance, the wink of an eye and maybe a few words tagging on to it in the way of a chapter or two.

Sometimes, I can feel the stack of hard copy burning into me as I sit at my desk. It’s often pretty stand-off-ish. First, I get the cold shoulder, then the glare. If that’s not worked, it gets all humphy and if the puffing and blowing hasn’t grabbed me, the letters get started, jiggling about like a toddler needing the bathroom. That’s when I find myself swivelling my chair in the opposite direction, casting my eyes over pens and rubber tipped pencils, re-positioning a stapler and see through sticky-tape dispenser in a childish `if you cant see me, I cant see you` sort of way.

As I re-arranged the drying lavender, the guilty feeling washed over me again. I know, guilt is a useless emotion, so I usually try to justify wasting time by flicking through my to-do list of short story competitions and pitching letters. Last night, I was torn between half a page for the Blackpool Festival of Words newspaper and whizzing off a couple of poems to a competition with a nearby closing date. And there I was again, procrastinating.

Today, the smaller projects are once again zapping my short concentration span and I promise my baby, my debut novel, Touchstone [and yes, we do need to find it a steamy title to wear] the whole afternoon of my undivided, the evening too, even though it is Saturday.



  1. Sounds like you have too many distractions! Only thing I can suggest is somehow dedicating a particular time period to a certain time of the week and saying "Right, nothing and absolutely nothing is going to distract me for at least an hour or two" sort of like a revision technique. Perhaps also dedicate a shorter time slot to smaller projects? I know this may be easier said than done, but it has worked for me in the past.

  2. You're right. Today I'll finish all the bits'n' pieces ... Thursday - all day on novel.
    Thanks - got me motivated, Gillian