One of the ways that writers procrastinate is by thinking through their stories, and imagining they have made progress. At least that’s one of the ways this writer procrastinates.
What I forget, and keep learning over and over again (one of these times it’s going to stick) is that when I imagine the story I see it in my mind’s eye. And that’s where the richness comes from in my imagination.
But every time I imagine it you I \refresh the scene, update the colour, tinker with the dialogue. I see expressions on my character’s faces.
It’s so easy to do that in your imagination, much harder to write it all out on the page. How do I describe that disdainful look, that playful glance, the exact sound of the slamming door, the specific touch that sends a shivers down the spine? It’s much harder to do that in words so there is more immediate satisfaction in imagining the story, more achievement and lasting pleasure in writing it.
So it’s a good thing that my challenges for this year are for two months each, and I have another month to catch myself up.
Two other well used procrastination techniques for me are research and reading. I just love these activities. They bring me great pleasure. I’m a learner at heart. But while I can’t see myself reducing the amount of reading I do, I do recognise that research is my form of the ‘writer’s myth’. Like Naomi Wolf wrote about the Beauty Myth, the constant search for the secret hairdo, weight, dress, make up, look, that will make us beautiful. I’m searching for the last bit of knowledge that will tip me over the edge from pretty good to great.
I know however that the only thing that will do that is writing and editing.
I feel better for confessing here, and hope to report more success before the end of May.