Friday, 8 June 2007

Avoidance Tactics or more on the Art of Procrastination

A couple of days ago Kate wrote about the joys of procrastination, which ended in a lot of comments about the role pillow washing plays in that process. (Weird or what?)

However she opens her piece by writing:

‘OK. So I have made a start on Book 6. Actually, I started book 6 late last year, got just under 10,000 words in the can, and then decided to work on Book 5 instead.’

And she has the cheek to call herself a procrastinator! She wouldn’t make it past the doormat at my procrastinators’ club. (The fact is no one makes it past the mat at my procrastinators’ club as all the members forever put off that dreadful moment they have to get off their arses to get down there.)

Sticking to the topic, I would add I find blogging itself is a curiously satisfying means of avoiding doing anything genuinely constructive. I don’t know whether this is true of every blog, but this one is particularly fussy. It’s not just a question of typing the stuff and posting it. I have to fiddle around with bits of code to create links, post pictures, italicize, etc. so what should take a few moments can waste a whole morning. Joy!

I have to confess, despite my addiction to putting off the inevitable, I have been writing my book! And to demonstrate just how unlikely this is, when I admitted as much to a friend yesterday afternoon she just laughed.

Progress is slow and painful but, nonetheless, it is progress. I still I have little idea where the book is going. Recently I read on a fellow book racer’s blog that they had created a grid for their characters and plot to help them organise their writing. (Apologies to the blogger concerned but I have just wasted a happy thirty minutes trying to find the original article without luck. If you should come across this, post a comment and I will create a link.) It seems an eminently sensible idea that I will attempt to imitate, but it does presuppose that I have a plot.

At the moment I have an incident, a number of characters, and a tone of voice that I am happy with. The personalities of the characters are gradually emerging and, though I can see the story developing in a number of ways, I sense their final development will dictate the eventual direction it takes.

So should I persist with my characters until they become fully rounded or should I decide on the final outcome of the narrative? Ho hum, decisions, decisions, writing a book, I find, is full of them.

Final word goes to Caroline whose book In Search of Adam is being launched next Thursday. Congratulations! Buy it.


Jon Mayhew said...

Thanks for looking at my site. I could be marking exams, or 'polishing' my scribbles but actually I keep fiddling with my blog! A curious way to get things done. There is huge scope for carry-on-esque comments which I will resist!

Caroline said...


If you fancy a trip to Manchester on Thursday - you're most most welcome at the launch.


DOT said...

Caroline - I would love to come but my miserable finances say no. Have fun.

liz fenwick said...

Procrasentation is bliss really! Blogging is the best form of it in my humble opinion :-)

I have my copy of In Search of Adam :-) Top of my tbr pile now!