Procrastination must be my middle name. Good thing I seem to hear it's a familiar theme amongst other writers. Blogging is a great procrastination tool, as is checking out other people's blogs, interesting websites, etc. etc.
The last few days I've been busy with work (yes, we do have to make a living until the publishing contract kicks in - and then don't quit your day job is the advice from many published writers) and family commitments.
Then there are always other distractions that come even when I've got all my writing paraphenalia arranged attractively around me, the computer is turned on, I've rubbed my magic stone (a present from thoughtful sister in law) and my fingers are poised on the keyboard. That's the moment I think, 'I'll just play a quick game of Solitaire, or Spider Solitaire, or Freecell, or Hearts until the creative juices flow.' That's the theory, anyway. What usually happens is that I end up staring at the screen - bug eyed - for a half hour or longer, thinking nothing about my characters, plot, setting or anything remotely useful. Yes, if I was using the half hour to dream up, or recall some frisson of passion that would end up on the page, that would be useful. But no. Computer games are a total waste of time. And just when I thought I might have finally become bored with the card games, finally managed to get a grip on my dependence, something happened...
I bought a new laptop. The new laptop has newer versions of all my old favourite games, and then some new ones I'd never even heard of. Enter: MAJONG TITANS! Oh, my God! Another way to waste precious writing time glued to the screen, thinking nothing about writing. It's such a satisfying game, too. All those gorgeous little tiles with decorative images, and the dragons and flowers make rewarding sounds when you match and remove... Oh, I feel like playing a game now. But I won't. Time to write. Chapter 4 beckons.
I made a start yesterday, and a good start, too. My hero and heroine confront each other. After I'd put 5 pages down, I realised it was all a bit of fancy 'how-de-doody'. A lot of hollow chatter that seemed to address their issues, but didn't feel quite right. My heart wasn't in it. It was only when I'd been away from the page for a few hours that I thought: nothing happens. My scenes work best when there's an event, an action - something happening. So I thought that tonight I will return to the page and make some changes. My hero won't just turn up wanting to dredge up the past (for a whole lot of complicated reasons to do with his emotional conflict). He will turn up bringing with him SOMETHING from the past. An object, something that the heroine will connect with her past with him.
Now I should go and make a start, shouldn't I? Well, that's just the thing with procrastination. I do believe that in my case, procrastination has a lot to do with fear. I put off going to the page because it's so hard to create the vision in my head. How do I convey all the details of setting, character and pure gut-wrenching emotion I've built in my head. The written product always seems to fall short of the mark. So to avoid that feeling... I procrastinate. But procrastination doesn't solve the problem, doesn't improve the situation. Only facing the fear - or the page - does that. So goodbye dear cyber-friends. I now prepare to remove my armour and face the page. Wish me luck.