I hate to admit it, but I procrastinate. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It defies logic. But, I do it anyway.
What person in their right mind will put off doing something they enjoy (like writing) and use the excuse they need to dust their furniture? Seriously! Dust my furniture? Most days you can write a whole chapter on the dust layering it, so why would I suddenly have this desire to shine the wood? Not only did I dust, but I vacuumed and did laundry. I need an intervention, people.
The whole time I was finding busy work I was feeling guilty because my second chapter is languishing from lack of attention. It gnaws at me and I glare at my computer like it is somehow at fault. Its silent presence mocks me. I comfort myself with the idea that I am doing something called “structured procrastination”.
This is a new term for me, but one I grabbed hold of with both hands. I read about it in an essay by John Perry. (Hey, dusting is boring!) I liked the idea that my procrastination was actually working for me by allowing me to do a task I had previously avoided. I was accomplishing something even though I was putting off what I actually should have been doing. I chose to ignore that this behavior is really self-deception and self-defeating. It is a vicious circle, my friend.
The truth of the matter is words have not come easy of late. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block exactly – it is more like a mild form of ennui. Scenes play out in my head, characters demand attention, but it all dissolves into mist when I sit down and try to write. I lose focus and suddenly dusting my furniture becomes preferable. My Muse has packed her bags and is on vacation, dammit.
I know myself well enough to accept this recent bout of behavior will pass and I will sit down and fight my way back into my current story. I know I will become so involved with my writing that polishing furniture will be a distant memory and the dust will happily accumulate again. It will happen any day now. Really.
In the meantime, I think I will worry about it tomorrow.