finding topics

A Writer’s Plight

Procrastination is an art.

Most writers seem to share the common plight of procrastination. Put any writer up against another profession and I’m sure that writers will trump competing professions with their cunning and mastery of delay tactics. Their unorthodox and imaginative minds set them apart from other professions.

As a half-writer (business woman by day), I only have a limited amount of time available to write, that is, to deal with this infliction of actually having to write. Mostly I knuckle down to get short stories and trashy novels done. I am, however not exempt from this writer’s predicament. Full blown delay-mode kicks in when I have to write a blog or guest post. If the topic is about business (sometimes drab and horrendously boring) I’m highly likely to turn into an extra-competitive procrastinator.

It’s not like I haven’t blogged. I had successful blogs. Sometimes I even miss it. Back in the day, blogging was like being a child pop star who grew up both in front of and with their fans. Google, much like the media and paparazzi, doesn’t forget the errors of youth, neither do some commentators. But yes, the rush of page views, blog traffic, comments both hateful and complimentary is something that is strangely addictive. Ah, the longing for a bygone era, an era before YouTube commentators and mass online idiocy.

But I digress…back to the subject of procrastinating.

Finding the perfect topic or angle is probably one of the best ways to legitimately procrastinate. It’s research, right? In a world where everything has been blogged about, coming up with a fresh perspective is no small feat. Often, I give up and announce to anybody within earshot that I have no stories to tell. Inevitably, someone will tell me something irritatingly rational or point out that I have plenty of stories.

Which other business owner has been invoiced for sex by a developer on methamphetamine dancing in the main road?

It’s at this point I normally revert back to more research. Reading for inspiration is research too, right? Of late, this means spending hours reading Medium while simultaneously developing a serious bout of writer envy. After Medium has magically made many, many hours disappear, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will annoy me with a guilt-inducing comment, such as making the painstakingly obvious observation that I have not yet written a single sentence.

Seeking alternatives to the research excuse, it almost seems like fate is heaping revenge upon procrastination. This is where offenders fall prey to both my revenge and writing skills. Distributing a 5-star rating and raving review of 50 Shades of Grey through my business partner’s social networks - hugely gratifying and very entertaining - for me. Him? Not so much.

Coming up with new excuses is exhausting. At this point, I need to eat, I stomp through the house in hot pants and a tank top (it’s true, some of us write sort of naked), rework the lyrics of 50 ways to say goodbye on route to the fridge. “My heart is paralyzed, My head was oversized, I’ll take the high road like I should, Business is what’s meant to be, It’s writing that is not for me, I’m leaving now for my own good” Incidentally, strangely appropriate song about excuses. Reworded I swear it tells the story of my breakup with blogging… Help me, help me, I’m all out of lines. And ways to say it died.

Once I’ve rummaged through the fridge, I decide that action must be taken, and that seeking a little extra advice won’t hurt. Turns out there are people with some damn good advice. I think the best advice thus far is that of writing under the influence. I don’t just consider this sound advice. I do love writing with a glass of wine in hand, but lets face it, a week of complete debauchery would be one hell of a way to procrastinate. Also, it’s said that if one has to pick between two evils, you should always pick the one you haven’t tried.

When a friend (who is also putting off his writing) shared my link to the writing under the influence post, I had to refrain from commenting, “Does 2pm work for you?” This incident also reminded me of an episode of Californication. Instead of getting into trouble, I found inspiration in my Facebook newsfeed.

I now know that I have only written 21 truly brilliant updates. I scrolled all the way down to 2007 and recounted twice, just to make sure.

So, here I am, delaying yet again. Imagine that! It seems I’m not out of excuses just yet!

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