Monday, 2 March 2009

Sure-Fire Method To Avoid Procrastination - Sally Nicholls

Like most writers, I occasionally procrastinate. This is probably a bad thing. This is why, today, I am bringing you my sure-fire method to avoid procrastinating when supposedly writing your novel, otherwise known as Use The Procrastination. It Is Your Friend.
Confused? Read on.
The method is simple. First, find something very important and very difficult/dull which needs to be done (preferably on a computer). This can be anything from tax returns to Scout Club minutes to essays (I learnt this technique while studying for a Masters). This works best when the thing is urgent and overdue, but it does need to involve your brain, or at least more brain than your novel.
Then ... turn on your computer. Stare at the screen. Say to yourself, "I really must do that tax return". Whistle. Think, "Oh, I'll just write a few paragraphs of novel first."
Suddenly, novel stops being Work and Difficult and becomes Procrastination and Fun, and you wake up at the end of the day to discover that you've written 1000 words (hurrah!) and ... er ... not done that tax return (less hurrah).
I probably shouldn't admit to how useful I find this method ...

PS Yes, I was interested, Penny. Today I have spent the whole afternoon reading a proof copy of Girl Meets Cake by Susie Day, which is utterly hilarious and well recommended. Out in April. Also reading Dangerous Liasons, for fun (and it is fun too, makes me want to be a libertine), In Bed With ..., a collection of erotic short stories, for research (because I'm going to have to write a sex scene for the work in progress, and I'm terrified) and an envelope full of short stories for work (I'm a competition judge).

1 comment:

Susie Day said...

Hi Sally! Did a casual google and happened upon this - would you mind if I quoted your lovely comment about Girl Meets Cake on my website? (Will link back here, of course!)

Cannot wait to get my hands on Season of Secrets, btw: I adored Ways to Live Forever so so much. Hope the new one's going well too!

As for procrastination: apparently googling your new book in order to update your website works pretty well when you're supposed to be urgently completing the US edit...:)