I'll just...

I don't know anyone as good at prevaricating as a writer. You've got a book to write. You want to get a good, solid 4,000 words in today. So you check your email. Read those interesting new blog entries that have popped up in Google Reader. Better check your bank account online, just to make sure. Oh! The post has arrived.

Technically starting work around 8.30, I can easily get to 10am before a single word is written. But then I like to take the dog for a walk down to the Post Office around 10 so I can catch the outgoing mail collection. That's another half hour...

The sad thing is, once I get started, I love it. I'm no Douglas Adams (yes, yes, in many ways), having to be locked in a room to produce because he hated writing so much. I have a great time. Then I'll stop for an essential break. Check my email... and even though I know I was having that great time a few minutes before it's hard to get started again.

In one of his recent podcasts, literary agent Peter Cox pointed out that writing is actually much harder work than most people think. It's enjoyable work for me, but it is hard. It's not like writing an email or even a blog. And I think that's what underlies the ease with which prevarication comes.

Now I've done my blog post. What else can I do before I get down to writing?


  1. Brian, thought I'd leave a comment to give you something else to check before cracking on with what you should be doing...

    I'm often in the same boat. My good lady despairs at the endless faffing about, in fact, I should be writing right now...

    John (Quacker)

  2. Thanks, John. Replying to comments on my blog is one of my favourite distractions.

    I tend not to write much at the weekend - too many family distractions - but it is keeping me from sorting out the washing up, something almost as easy to try to avoid.


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