Date: January 7, 2014
10:35 AM Dollar sat on my face, rudely interrupting my date with a guy who could give Ian Somerhalder a run for his money.
10:36 AM Quick cuddle with my dog. Smiled into space, recalling the hot date vividly. Realized it was just a dream. Smile deflated.
10:40 AM Checked e-mails. Client A hadn’t paid for the work done yet. It’s been 24hours. Felt a sense of panic (read: Paranoia). Did something bad happen to Client A? Hoped not. There are still bills to pay.
11:00 AM Dragged my feet out of bed. Continue reading
“Have you done anything productive today?”
My mom’s words the moment she stepped into the living room where I was sprawled on the couch, lounging in front of the TV.
Hmmm. No. Bumming is more like it.
“Yeah, I have. I just watched two Disney Channel shows, one HBO movie, and American Dad on Fox. What’s more productive than that?”
Okay. That wasn’t exactly the kind of productive activity she was expecting from me. But still productive.
Mom shook her head and mumbled as she went upstairs, “No wonder you haven’t finished the novel you’ve been working on for months.”
Smack! Right in the face.
That did it.
I reached for the remote, flipped the TV off and dragged my fat ass inside my room where my laptop sat untouched atop the computer table.
I approached it ever so slowly, turned it on, and opened my novel’s file.
Now here comes the problem. Dragging your ass to work is one thing. Programming your fresh-from-procrastination-and-yet-to-be-productive mind to start writing again is another.
I decided I’d get some work done anyway. I’ve come this far, haven’t I? And by far, I meant ‘staring blankly at my computer screen’ far.
So what did I do?
I took a deep breath, stood up and went back into the living room.
Kidding. Here’s the guide:
Write, write, write
One of the great things I like about a being a writer is the moment you start writing, the words start to come out naturally. And when they do, there’s no stopping them. It’s like you’ve turned a faucet on and a continuous stream of water suddenly runs from it. Then the next thing you know, you’re already scrambling to keep up.
It doesn’t matter if the words didn’t make sense at first. Hey, that’s what revision is for, remember?
Get away from any distraction
This is hard. Especially when you live in a house full of distraction just waiting to happen. Sometimes I feel like living in a cave for a while. I heard caves are really good for unproductive writers.
But if you can’t find a cave near you, you can always lock yourself up inside your room and tune everything else out.
Embrace the guilt trip
This one never fails. I don’t know about you but whenever I feel like slacking (which I always do), I immediately feel a sense of guilt. Like there’s a voice telling me, “Those articles and book chapters ain’t going to write themselves, you know.”
Needless to say, I usually ignore it.
NO to Social Media.
At least for a while, anyway.
In my years of mastering the techniques of procrastination, I recently realized the pattern leading into that black hole.
It all started with a single research. It may be a phrase, a word, or an idea for a scene. Then what do you know?
I’m already halfway browsing through my Twitter Timeline, Facebook News Feed, and Instagram Feed. Sometimes I feel like Social Media is one gigantic vacuum that keeps on sucking you in.
So to be safe, just focus on your research.
But hey, if your article piece is titled “How To Lurk On Your Facebook Crush In Four Easy Steps,” then who am I stop you?
“I put the folder on top of the desk, intending to leave it there when I noticed my boss’s hand dangling from the chair……”
And then what? I stared at my computer screen and watched as the cursor blinked, one hand hovering above the keyboard, the other picking my nose. Poised to type the next phrase.
Not a short phrase.
Not even a single effin’ word.
(Insert a series of expletives here.)
Writer’s block. How do I even begin to explain this disease that had been plaguing writers since the day they learned how to write? But seeing how I couldn’t even finish a single sentence in my comedy-slash-suspense-slash-chick lit novel, it was probably best to just leave it at that.
And from the looks of it, I need to do the same thing to my novel too. For now, at least. Though it baffles me that I still managed to write this post despite the onslaught of the dreaded condition. Well, fuck it. It gave me an excuse to blog, didn’t it?
So tell me, how do you even get out from this black hole without falling prey to procrastination and laziness?
I mean, writer’s block is just the worst. Well, next to revision. I don’t know about you but whenever the revision process rears its ugly head, I always develop the urge to write the whole thing all over again. Never mind that I’ve already written a good 10,000 words. It seems like I just can’t get it right. Like there’s a huge “CRAP” written all over it.
But guess what? While I was in the middle of procrastinating and writing this blog post (What can I say? Old habits die hard), I stumbled upon this Wikipedia’s description of writer’s block. And I quote:
“It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite.”
Well I’ll be damned.
Okay that may or may not lifted my spirit up a bit. But it sure did give me an epiphany (See? Procrastination can be a blessing to others too). Apparently whenever I see my work as a piece of shit, it’s actually just the writer’s block doing it’s magic.
Let me try that again.
….Nah, it’s really a piece of shit
“Ohmigod, Madz! You’re so lazy!”
“Ohmigod, will you shut up?”
Basically, that’s me and my conscience arguing. But before you freak out and start screaming “Crazy bitch!” at me, let me just clarify that I don’t normally talk to myself out loud. So I guess it’s safe to say that I still haven’t crossed that one line which separates sanity from full-on frenzy. Yet.
But that’s already bordering to Too Much Information kind of charter so let’s not discuss it again.
The point is, no matter how annoying my conscience could get, it’s still telling the truth. The truth that keeps smacking me in the face: I’m 110% lazy. Something I’ve come to terms with ever since I started my writing career.
You’d say procrastination. I’d say laziness. But fuck it. This is my blog.
So in honor of my laziness, I decided to start blogging again. Kidding. I created this blog so I have an excuse to return to blogosphere. Which I have been putting off for a long time in favor of being lazy.
Minus the guilt trip, laziness can be a lot of fun. Especially when it allows me to creep up on that random Facebook friend who has the habit of taking her relationship woes to social media. Or how it gives me the privilege to stay up-to-date to two strangers’ ongoing Twitter War. Did I mention I’m such a gossip too? No wonder I barely get things (read: writing) done every week. That’s how hopeless my case is.
But as they say, “Some good things never last.” That said, I decided to bid my laziness ado. Though it’s still debatable whether I could stick to it or not.
Until I’m done writing my chick lit novel perhaps?
Anyway, how does “Productivity A Day Challenge” sound?
Hahah. I’ll keep you posted.
The Lazy Writer