sleepy cat

It wasn’t as if I’d had an energy-draining day at the Day Job on Friday.  In fact, it was smooth sailing for most of the afternoon.  I kept myself busy by catching up on personal emails and listening to some new release tunage.  After work we went for a walk to the Legion of Honor Museum up on the hill (it’s just a little over a mile from our house by foot, uphill 98% of the way) for a sneak preview of their Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millenery Trade exhibit.  A bit tired from the walk but otherwise just fine.

Did I get any writing work done, though?  Not a word.

Nor did I get any work done Saturday, when we went to see a movie at the Opera Plaza (the documentary Letters from Baghdad) and afterwards stopped by Green Apple to buy a few books I’d been looking for.  I did turn on the PC to update a few drivers and software, but spent the rest of the day catching up on webcomics that I’d been backed up on.  [I’m a big fan of webcomics for multiple reasons and will most likely have a future post on them at some point!]

Sunday was shopping day, so hopefully some time tonight I’ll be able to squeeze in some Lidwells work.  If I’m not distracted by other things!  Heh.

It’s not all that often that I’ll take a day or two off without feeling some sort of guilt.  I’m at that point in my writing career where I’m once again comfortable with my processes, that I don’t feel the need to rush to get things done.  [I’ll still kick myself for procrastinating, but that’s more about getting my daily processes started in the first place.]  I can afford a few days off where I’m living a normal life, watching TV and going out into the world and whatnot.

It’s a struggle of many writers, considering many of them are like me, juggling their writing career with their Day Job.  You can’t really decide ‘I’m gonna play hooky from my Day Job, I deserve to do it now and again’, at least not without consequences and/or lost pay.  On the same token, you don’t want to do that with your writing either, because a) that’s admitting your writing is less important (which you do NOT want to admit), and b) that’s one less day you’re moving forward, one more day your story is just sitting there, doing nothing.  It’s also why, when writers do take a day off from writing AND their Day Job, it’s usually for vacation purposes and purposely doing nothing, and STILL feel guilty about it.

Still, it’s a struggle I’ve gotten under control.  I’ve been hitting over 2000 words daily, between blog posts, personal journalling and occasional poetry writing, the 750 practice words on Secret Next Project, and Lidwells.  My deadline stress is light.  My near-future plans are clear.  The docket is a hell of a lot clearer than it was just a few years earlier.  I can afford to take a writing day off…especially if that day is spent reading and watching other people’s creations with an eye on what their own processes were!  [See what I mean about Writer Brain never being completely turned off?]

I can afford to be lazy every now and again, and not feel the least bit guilty.  I just need to remember to enjoy it!

Last minute

(c) Bill Watterson, of course.

Sure, I’ll gladly admit that I’m a procrastinating writer.  We all are to some extent.  I’m typing this out right now on Sunday evening when I really should be working on Chapter Seven (of forty-four) of the galley edit of The Balance of Light.  I should have typed this out earlier instead of cleaning out my email box (which, to be honest, was backed up due to “I’ll look at it later” procrastination).

I’ve always been horrible at things like that.  I was always handing in homework and term papers late, or being on time but handing in my less-than-stellar attempt.  I was always distracted by music listening or futzing around with my personal creative projects that were always so much more interesting to me.  In retrospect I was definitely one of those kids who probably would have benefited from learning from Real Life rather than school.

So why now?  Why am I still procrastinating?  Well, again — it happens to the best of us.  The latest Twitter news and arguments, the unnatural lure of cat gifs, that new episode of that show everyone talks about.  For me, I have a terrible habit of saying “I’ll get to it momentarily, I just have to finish doing this first.”  Whatever this happens to be, it’s probably not as  important as trying to reach a self-assigned publication deadline or wanting to remain loyal to a self-assigned blogging schedule.  Amanda calls me on it all the time.

Granted, I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be.  Back in my Belfry days, even when I had all the time in the afternoon to goof off (and often did), my writing session schedule would start promptly at 7pm and roll until 9pm.  Unfortunately, a good half hour would be wasted doing two things:  deciding which music I wanted to listen to that evening, and playing a few games of FreeCell.  “Just to get in the mood,” I’d say to myself.  Thankfully I grew out of that.  Now I’m just goofing off on Twitter!   Heh.

Thing is, though:  I know that I’m procrastinating.  And I’m aware of what I’m doing to add to it.  Which means that the only thing I really need to do to combat it?  STOP DOING IT ALREADY, JEEZ.   Sure, easier said than done sometimes, but it can be done.

And now I’ve got Monday’s blog entry good to go.