How to procrastinate

Procrastination is an essential part of the process of writing a novel. Most writers will admit that they spend nearly as much time looking for ways to avoid writing as they do actually writing.

There are some obvious techniques which can be practised without leaving the computer:
Check e-mail
Look at Facebook or Twitter
Check the BBC News website
Check your sales on Amazon
Do a bit more research for the work in progress
Play a game of Mah Jong
Read a blog
Re-organise all your computer files.

Without leaving home:
Tackle that mountain of ironing
Clean the bathroom
Hoover the whole house
Weed the garden
Turn out old clothes, books etcetera for the charity shop.
No writing achieved, but you’ll have a clean and tidy house.

If you feel like a bit of fresh air:
Take back the overdue library books
Take donations to charity shop
Have a cup of tea in the garden of the local historic house. If you have a notebook and pen with you, it counts as writing, and historic houses and gardens are inspirational, aren’t they?


Back home:
Read the new library books. It’s important for writers to read.
Write letters to friends or relatives who don’t have e-mail. Letter writing is said to be a dying literary form, so it’s obviously a good thing for a writer to do.
Catch up with some of the back numbers of the magazine you subscribe to but never get around to reading. It’s about writing, so it’s almost as good as actually doing some writing, isn’t it?

If all else fails, update your blog.


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