The internet is a rather wonderful and magical place if you don’t want to write. One of my Facebook friends and I recently had a conversation about erudite procrastination. We both keep volumes of poetry at arm’s reach of our keyboards, for those times when we just can’t manage to get our thoughts in order. No, I haven’t written a word, I tell the raised eyebrows inside me, but I’ve read some Emily Dickinson. Surely that must count for something! Yes, the raised eyebrows reply, in a tone of voice letting me know that I am not quite getting away with this. But how about some nice words, dear?
Most of the time, I must confess, I do not procrastinate with Emily Dickinson. She is inspiring, and inspiring doesn’t help when I want to avoid working
like the plague, forever, preferably, as though I owe it money for a while. You might say, “Ah-hah! I see what you’re doing! You’re writing a blog post instead of writing!” The raised eyebrows and I would like to ask you how, indeed, you think blog posts are written, if not by writing? Sure, this isn’t fiction, but it’s a craft all by itself. Posts don’t count towards the Almighty Word Count, because that’s just for fiction, but they might be footnoted onto the Almighty Word Count if I’m feeling particularly smug or particularly desperate about what I’ve accomplished. “Not only have I written X number of words of fiction today,” I will say, (in my head, mostly) “But I wrote a blog post, a shopping list, and a note to tape to the refrigerator!” It works if I’ve written several thousand words, or several dozen. You just have to change the intonation of the exclamation points.
In short, even if blogging is procrastination, it’s writing, and that makes it less of a waste of time. Yeah. Don’t look at me like that, I get enough of that from my raised eyebrows.
Other time-wasters that I have employed in the past are videos on the Escapist. Zero Punctuation, Unskippable, and Extra Credits are my favorites. (I don’t play video games very much, but I think they’re an excellent idea.) The more productive I am, the less I watch. So on a day when it’s windy, and cold, and I can’t really justify zipping off to the movies because I might blow away, (gusts up to 35 mph do stymie a lady’s plans) the little light bulb goes on. “You haven’t been to Escapist in ages,” it chirps, sidling nervously away from the raised eyebrows, who at this point are looking murderous. “I bet there’s loads of new things to watch!” In fact, the little light bulb is right. I have four unwatched episodes of Zero Punctuation! That’s twenty minutes of new things! And two of them are games that I want to play, assuming I ever actually want to play games ever again that aren’t Arkham Asylum and whatever the sequel is. (My feelings about Arkham, and Batman in general, must be saved for other posts.)
Hi! It’s ten minutes into the future, and I watched two of the videos. Funny, yes. But not as much fun as, say, reading a book, or reading Emily Dickinson, or just sitting down and writing the story, for pity’s sake.
Procrastinating from something you actually want to do has to be one of the stupidest things humans do. No wonder I’m getting that look from my raised eyebrows. I love what I do. I revel in it. I work at it. And here I am, writing blog posts and watching videos proving others can be creative and productive. Well, I can do it, too.
Now, off to eat breakfast, figure out what I want to read today, and figure out where my projects are going. Blank pages rolling out into the distance, and I jump from word to word like hopscotch until I get up to speed and lope away, ink on my feet.