Procrastination

There are not enough hours in the day.

I’m sure everyone could put up a fair argument to support this theory. Here is mine today;

  1. I failed at the morning pages (writing 3 sheets of A4 as a stream of consciousness at 5.45 am before getting out of bed) – I’m so disappointed in myself for not being able to complete this task for the last two days. This was largely as a result of item number 2 on my list

2. Eyestrain from the day job. As we prepare for the introduction of a new global computer system. Data cleansing has been the intense focus, rendering me useless after 8.30pm

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3. Preparing for a new work structure. I am a new team member with a new boss in a new under-manned function. Initially planned as five people we have three.

 

 

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4. A deluge of visitors from IBM and global Operating Units means restaurant, toilets and car parking facilities are overloaded. The daily trudging commute seems to continue through to a scramble for a parking space onto the queue for breakfast and even extends into the ladies!

 

5. A request from a writing group for attendance tonight for an author’s presentation, I know that despite my body screaming stop, and my families unspoken “don’t go” I will be there and return home at 10pm to collapse on the couch.

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6. A study of Virginia Woolf. I started this book last night even though I knew for all the reasons above, I shouldn’t…. it’s calling my name even now as I type.

 

 

7. Preparing mentally for Napowrimo; Writing a poem a day for each day of April. Again the spirit is willing, the flesh feels weak, but I will do it.

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8. Working on poems for poetry group. I have two underway and feel the pull of them every hour. In practice I’ll probably dedicate an hour to them just before I need to present them (not my favourite tactic).

 

 

9. Reading to Jack. Everything stops to read to my son at bedtime. Of all the items on this list this is my priority and one I love, although I can be found sleeping next to him beyond the stories, before waking to rush downstairs and pretend it never happened.

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10. Teenager stropping. I removed (almost surgically) my 13 teen year old daughter from her laptop, iPhone and iPad as a consequence of her disrespectful tone. She hasn’t spoken to me for 2 days in protest. It’s on my mind, but between points 1 through to 9.

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11. My partner would like to see me awake.

 

 

 

 

12. Need to research Darth Vader cakes and decorations as instructed by the afore-mentioned 4-year-old, nearly 5-year-old son. Bouncy castle ordered, guests invited, cake and balloons need sourcing.

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13. Procrastinating to avoid a huge work task which is frightening me – an IT task which is way outside my comfort zone, hence writing this list!

 

 

 

14. Not getting fired for writing to do lists and whinging.

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May the ink never dry

The day came to sign the contract. The publishers treated me to a fabulous lunch. We had an excellent discussion on all aspects of writing, publishing, readers, and distribution before papers were signed and photographs taken.

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Onlookers from neighbouring tables stopped to see who the celebrity was.

 

 

 

 

 

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Elated I published my news on Facebook and amidst the warm wishes of friends and family, tried to let what had just happened sink in.

So what then?

Then, I waited.

 

Soon after, I received an email with sketches of the artwork which the illustrator had submitted. The thrill was intense. I studied each pencil line. As I turned through the pages, I saw my story come to life. I was introduced to the main characters. I marvelled at the detail.

TV personality Sarah Heaney Reads to kids in Edinbugh

 

I saw my story through the eyes of a child, wondrous and excited. I wanted to know what was on the next page.

What a gift.

 

And then…. I waited.

I’ve learnt you need patience, a lot of patience. Work is happening behind the scenes and the writer needs to sit back and wait to be called upon.

I’m still waiting.

As I’ve said on a previous blog, I’m not one to sit around idle, so whilst I wait;

Too busy to stop

  • I attend Stockport Writers, a local writers group
  • I attend Write Out Loud, a local poetry group
  • I’ve written two more children’s picture book stories
  • I’ve attended a workshop on how to write about conflict
  • This week I am at a workshop about re-writing traditional myths in a modern and contemporary way
  • I continue to write the morning pages, again, as discussed in a previous blog
  • As April approaches, so does the poetry challenge of Napowrimo; a poem per day for each day of April

That should keep my mind busy, and if it doesn’t, I can always blog!

Burnout Schmurnout – let’s do this!

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A new technique; the morning pages

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A good friend of mine suggested this technique. Each morning write 3 pages of A4 as a stream of consciousness ie; no editing, just free writing. Write as soon as you wake. Julia Cameron devised what she called The Morning Pages in her book “The Artist’s Way”and it has now become a practise followed by many writers. 

Always ready for a new challenge and up for learning new techniques, I began this morning. It’s half term school holidays, so I was in bed later than usual. At 8.15am I began writing and 20 minutes later I had my 3 pages. 

The unexpected benefit I found, was the peacefulness that I experienced whilst writing. The words and content didn’t matter. I had to stop myself editing at times, but a strange sense of freedom arose. Perhaps by knowing the work is not intended to be read by anyone else, removed any external pressures? Whatever forces were in play, I shall be trying it again tomorrow to see where this path leads. Tomorrow my alarm goes off at 6.10am, will my eyes be able to focus that early? 

Try it for yourself; google The Morning Pages. If you already use this method, let me know what you think. Do you find it useful?