Sunday, 12 October 2008

the fine art of putting stuff off. and not getting started. even though you know you should. oh look - that skirting board definitely needs dusting...

I've been writing for a little while now, and my main enemy is procrastination. You know, the kind of procrastination that sees you sit down at the 'puter, all set to write your masterpiece, only to decide to clean the kitchen instead. My house is never tidier than when I'm writing, or at least attempting to write. 

I fear this is a common problem. 

Some strategies I have adopted to overcome this include:

  • Writing in the park (or the cafe in the park): so long as I don't take a newspaper, this one works pretty well.
  • Writing the word 'notes' at the top of any document I'm writing on (whether on the computer or longhand). Ridiculous, I know, but somehow this soothes the demons inside - the ones that whisper at every line 'well that's not very orginal/insightful/interesting'. It doesn't matter, it's just 'notes'!
  • Not giving my characters names. What? I hear you cry. And rightly so. I find that writing scenes with 'man' and 'woman' as characters is really helpful. Otherwise I sit there for hours going 'but is he a Tarquin or a Tito' and working out cultural baggage therein. So I'm a convert to this now. (And I read somewhere that Pinter writes using A and B when he starts, so I'm in good company on this, even if this is where the similarity ends.)
Er. That's it. 

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