Remember when you were a kid and you had that essay to do for homework? Well being a writer is a bit like that. I love writing books, but can always find something else to do before I finally face that blank page.
Here are ten top tips on creative and justifiable (almost) ways to delay, postpone, avoid and generally procrastinate when you should be starting that novel.
- Watch trashy movies on TV and call it ‘research.’ Eat a whole tub of Hagen Daaz while watching that movie and call it ‘research.’
- Phone a friend – for ‘research purposes.’
- Bake a cake, call it ‘research,’ then eat it slice by slice throughout the day until you’ve eaten so much it’s embarrassing, so finish it off and clear all evidence of its existence before anyone comes home (this is an adaptable form of procrastination, and I find ice cream works just as well.)
- Run up and downstairs a couple of times in between cake slices and call it ‘a vigorous workout.’
- Google procrastination.
- Google anything vaguely related to your current work in progress, that you haven’t started yet. For example, my latest novel, Ella’s Ice Cream Summer, proved to be perfect for this particular exercise. I was able to justify many hours Googling images of amazing ice cream porn.
- Groom the cats/dogs/goldfish (vital work)
- Play with the cats/dogs/goldfish – whether they want to or not (my cats sleep through most of this, but again it’s vital work).
- Search online for hilarious cat videos (whole days have been lost doing this particular activity, and once you go down that road, it’s hard to go back, but at a push you can call it ‘research’).
- Clean the kitchen floor – this is always a last resort and to be used only when every other avenue of procrastination has been visited.