“Ok, I’ll go have a shower – perhaps that’ll get me going. “
En route from office to bathroom I stop and address the dust motes swirling around in an early sunbeam:“think I’ll have a coffee first”.
Downstairs, in the kitchen as I faff around, MCV (my critic’s voice) makes itself heard. Didn’t think it would take long before it made an appearance on stage.
“You’ve not written a word; you said you’d do three chapters a week. You’re still on the first. You’ve not written a word.”
“I know I know, but I’m stuck. I can’t think of anything to say – so get off my back. Anyway, I’m just going to iron these few things.”
“You…iron? You don’t know one end from t’other. Can you actually remember where it is? Have you unpacked it yet? You’re only been here two years now. Just how desperate can you get?”
Well pretty desperate actually.
This silent conversation that I have with MCV has been going on now for a few days. I find myself in a pother of procrastination. I have work ahead of me; deadlines to meet; people to see. For once I actually have stuff to write for which people want to pay and I find myself la-la-ing around, titivating, fiddling, fancifying even ironing (in a half-hearted sort of way)…anything to stop myself going up the stairway to hell – aka my office. Even if I do get there I gaze out of the window and the sea twinkling benignly in the sun invites me to cast off a clout or two and go for a paddle. I’m not deceived though. I know from bitter experience that emerging from an icy dousing in the North Sea is not like Venus rising from the waves in her scallop shell. No, it’s more akin to a frozen turkey lugged from the freezer on Christmas Eve. I did wonder at the time why all those kids wore wet-suits whilst I frolicked in a modest swim-skirt…but I digress…again.
I usually have a number of tricks to overcome the occasional slice of procrastination – make a game of it; do 1 minute’s worth and then stop; analyse the “why”; divide and conquer…I could go on but I’d rather you bought my book (see sidebar and sorry about the plug).
Actually this isn’t a dose of the put-offs. It is what my mother called “a phase she’s going through” in response to my rather feeble adolescent rebellion that consisted entirely of teaching my eyebrows the trick of independent suspension so that I could flick just the one to create a quizzical, faintly supercilious effect.It’s a skill I’ve cherished all my life.
Am I having a “forty is the new sixty” life crisis or do I mean “sixty is the new forty” life crisis? Either way it’s a pile of goose-poo. I can tell you with confidence that I’m just having a crisis of confidence and I have had those since I was knee-high. To quote my mother again, this time on the subject of puppy fat, “it’ll disappear when you grow up.”
For the record I’m on my fourth diet this year alone.
However, I have a solution.
Stuck for words? Can’t seem to put pen to paper? Rather do anything, anything at all but write?
You need…A BLOG, probably the most effective displacement activity in the world.