Saturday, May 23, 2009


Procrastination and the Writer

by Tom Mach
© 2009 by Tom Mach


Robert Benchley said it best when he said, “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment. “ While this can be said of any endeavor, I find that it is particularly true of writers. I am one of the greatest time-wasters in the world. Yesterday I must have checked my Twitter at least thirty times, my Facebook twenty times, sent out meaningless tweets about fifteen times, check my email every 15 minutes, bought myself a cell phone and tried playing Sudoku on it, then took a drive to get my car washed and put gas in it.

Box Score: “Other stuff” –110 “Writing”—0

I envy writers who claim they can sit down and type out five pages a day, every day, no matter what. They claim that even if what they type is nonsense, even if it is poorly written, even if it is filled with all sorts of errors, it’s writing. To me, it’s like saying even if you’re pumping air into a tire and no air is going into it, you’re pumping. Or, it’s like composing a symphony using a harmonica. At least you’re attempting to compose.

I use the excuse of having to be “inspired” before I can write. The problem is that I don’t get inspired until I start writing and once I get into the rhythm of my story, then I get inspired.

I think next time I give a workshop on writing a novel, I will write three words on the chalkboard and dismiss the class. The words? JUST DO IT.

3 comments:

Ian said...

I call the things you do to avoid writing "vacuuming the cat."

The quote was absolutely right on about the amount of work you can accomplish when you're supposed to be doing something else. I get far more writing done on my Blackberry at my day job when I'm SUPPOSED to be doing other things than I do at home sitting in front of my laptop. Lol

Radio Nowhere said...

Heh! Vacuuming the cat...I'm gonna use that somehow...

And Tom, I agree with you. I get these ideas in my head, head to paper/computer to write them down and,
Ohwasn'tthatafiretruckthatjustwentdownthe street?

And like that...easily distracted. Especially trying to figure out why women talk all the time!

Ginger said...

I love the idea. JUST DO IT.=) Got my first step in using my time wisely, an advice I found at professional author Delatorro's book at >>http://bit.ly/eluyUl.. You made me think of the next move! Thanks!