A Novel Idea

How to procrastinate productively (part one)

Posted on: July 11, 2010

For me, there are two types of procrastination from writing: good or bad.

Bad procrastination includes any activity that not only detracts from your word count or the quality of your work, it actually makes you less likely to write that day.

Bad procrastination includes activities such as:

  • Housework
    One load of washing spirals into a spring cleaning epic. I’m too tuckered out to type afterwards.
  • Socialising (Virtual)
    A Facebook friend announces a birth, death or marriage. I’m obliged to congratulate or condole accordingly.
  • Socialising (Actual)
    If my writing like a hermit hasn’t deterred a friend by now and I’m actually having a live, in-person conversation with them, they care enough to know that I am writing and will inevitably ask ‘so how’s the book going?’. If I’m socialising in writing time, I’m just going to feel bad about it.

Do you engage in bad procrastination?

Hamlet has long been identified as a literary procrastinator. I adore the play and am intrigued by the character. However I am aware that some audience members may have felt like hurling abuse along the lines of ‘Would you just GET ON WITH IT!’

Perhaps our family members also feel like saying this to us at times?

In the tradition of Shakespeare – an aside:

Here is Brendan Cowell, terrific Australian actor, as Hamlet in the Bell Shakespeare production last year. The performance I saw at the Sydney Opera House was the most enjoyable Hamlet I have seen to date.

Picture courtesy of http://www.theage.com.au/news/arts/wrestling-hamlet/2008/06/26/1214472670857.html

Slaying Claudius is akin to writing a novel. Not that writing is a murderous occupation, but it does involve pain and contemplation.

Good (or tolerable) procrastination may reduce your word count for the day, but it somehow helps in the overall journey to finishing the manuscript.

I’m putting off the rest of this post for now…

Write well. Write often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2010.

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3 Responses to "How to procrastinate productively (part one)"

Unfortunately, I do take part in bad procastination. It’s inevitable. Procastination can happen for many different things, sadly it happens when I want to write. I try to get over it (: and I end up writing an entire chapter. Life’s weird like that.

– Marilou ❤

I thoroughly cleaned yesterday so I can concentrate on my writing all day today. Of course, here I am, online making a comment on your blog, but I would dare say, reading and writing blogs are technically “good” procastination as I find that I use my “writing” brain to type up a response and reading another writer’s blog is enjoyable and useful.

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