Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Avoidance - the revered writer past time

I read this on Michael Hyatt's blog over the weekend and was laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

"Usually, writers will do anything to avoid writing. For instance, the previous sentence was written at one o’clock this afternoon. It is now a quarter to four. I have spent the past two hours and forty-five minutes sorting my neckties by width, looking up the word “paisly” in three dictionaries, attempting to find the town of that name on The New York Times Atlas of the World map of Scotland, sorting my reference books by width, trying to get the bookcase to stop wobbling by stuffing a matchbook cover under its corner, dialing the telephone number on the matchbook cover to see if I should take computer courses at night, looking at the computer ads in the newspaper and deciding to buy a computer because writing seems to be so difficult on my old Remington, reading an interesting article on sorghum farming in Uruguay that was in the newspaper next to the computer ads, cutting that and other interesting articles out of the newspaper, sorting—by width—all the interesting articles I’ve cut out of newspapers recently, fastening them neatly together with paper clips and making a very attractive paper clip necklace and bracelet set, which I will present to my girlfriend as soon as she comes home from the three-hour low-impact aerobic workout that I made her go to so I could have some time alone to write.”


— P. J. O’Rourke
The Wit and Wisdom of P. J. O’Rourke

I have to add some of my favorite procrastinations:

checking email, reading other blogs on writing, surfing the net for pictures (of characters, settings, home decor of characters' houses, etc.), visiting band websites to find the right music to appease the muse, checking email, updating twitter status, putting on chapstick, getting a drink, changing the colors on my outline spreadsheet, check email in my other email account, visit and comment on all 247 facebook friends, get out index cards, erase the scenes I have written on the index cards and write them in pen, checking email, write a blog post, read a book and think about how horrible my writing is in comparison, go see if my garden has grown significantly since yesterday, make a new writing playlist, check email, see what's happening on Twitter, sharpen all my pencils, vacuum the computer keyboard because all that dust is so distracting, read a little more of another book for inspiration, check email, read some more blogs, start a new spreadsheet on good blogs to visit, walk to the mailbox, check email again. . .

*I never thought of organizing my books by width, though. What a FABULOUS idea!



5 comments:

Deborah said...

You forgot - answering the phone a thousand times, running after little girls who have disappeared somewhere into the neighborhood, checking in with the neighbors to see how they're doing, going to yet another meeting that lasts four hours and staying that long instead of announcing you only have thirty minutes and then actually leaving when those thirty minutes are up, giving the computer over to son and son and then daughter while you run up and down the stairs fourteen times within ten minutes, to get clothes and other sundry items to put away or put in the washer, not because you actually need the exercise and the countless other things that come into your day on the dramatic, emotional bent of children + 75. Those things are not a part of that procrastinating checking of email and rearranging your refrigerator but get in there instead of writing anyway.

Kimberly said...

Oh this made me giggle. What's sad though is how much longer my list is than yours . . .

ElanaJ said...

ROTFL!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

OMG, this is so funny! One of my favorite ways to procrastinate is blogging.

L.T. Elliot said...

Ah...the time suck. I feel like I have a million and one devices like those! Thanks for this really funny post!