Putting Off Writing

Putting off writing is one activity all writers are experts in. I personally go to elaborate lengths. Giving in my notice for my job was particularly successful in this regard: it meant that during that month, convinced as I was of the future leisure hours which I could entirely devote to writing, I barely once even thought of my novel.

As it happens I afterwards agreed to go part-time again, so I perhaps haven’t had the leisure hours I was anticipating. Nonetheless, in the three months since then and now, I have shown incomparable genius in my ability to put off doing the remotest thing to my novel (except, perhaps, amend some sentence structure here or there). The most I’ve allowed myself is to contemplate it idly: to think what needs to be done and how nice it will be once it is.

It’s the middle part between those two states, however, that puts me off: the effort that will, unfortunately, be necessary; the discipline of sitting down each day and applying myself; the giving up of this idle life of reading books (which I might make myself believe is in some way beneficial to my writing) and watching sporting events (which certainly is not).

And yet now I finally seem to be thinking of getting around to something: I’m rationalising my reading; my studies I will soon be able to put into the background; the European Championship will at some point end, and after that so will Wimbledon and the Olympics; my flat is tidy; and my part-time job will in the near future have run its course. What is more, I’ve actually sat down finally and begun collating my notes on the chapters as yet unwritten.

(Oh, yes! – Ironically, I started writing this post ages ago, but have taken an inordinate amount of time getting round to finishing it off.)


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