Hello again my sparkly, caffeinated loves! It’s time for another installment of how Helene writes. Now, now, don’t get all puffed up, I’m not being self absorbed, OK, maybe a little, but I have a need to share. Those of you who have any kind of job that requires writing will most definitely relate. Those of you who write or blog, well, if you see yourself reflected here, it’s all good. We are of the same ilk, and that’s just fine. And now, without further ado, my tips for honing those writing skills.
So, those of you who are freaking out just about now, take a big old chill pill. If you know me, then you know this will be a very serious post. HAHAHA! I’m laughing out loud and glittery tears are rolling down my sunburned face! Yes, I am a total geek and a procrastinator. Yes, I said the dirty word! PROCRASTINATE! You are all guilty too, and I just know you’re thinking now how you should be doing….oh, XYZ number of things, but you’re not. You are here, with me, on this silly ride, thinking a zillion things, but not getting your work done. Well, I am one up on you, since as I am the writer, and I am penning this post, I’m working.
Seriously folks, most of us work really hard, every day, myself included. Being a writer, like other jobs, is stressful and hard work. I mean, we writers have to think up original ideas, make them come alive to interest our readers, AND make sure our unique voices sound out and call to you. Tough job, and everyone’s a critic, literally. So for those of us involved in the pursuit of the written word, not only have we attained the thrill of the hunt, honing our words and thoughts, creating perfect pieces of prose, but we have also perfected the art of procrastination.
Alrighty then, procrastination puppies, pay attention. You know that feeling. Deadlines are rapidly approaching. You have to draft your article (if you’re not a writer, fill in your blank spaces appropriately,) and suddenly….dead space between the ears. A million thoughts run through your mind, not a one related to the all important work that must be completed….sooner than yesterday! Despite this being your dream job, (I mean, who doesn’t want to write for living?) daily, humdrum stuff seeps in as if your brain was a colander. Spaghetti strands dangling before your eyes, you reach out and grasp at the possibilities…laundry, wash the dog, groceries…I mean, life has to go on, right? And, this recent bout of procrastination (yup, say it like you mean it, as if it is a dreaded disease) comes at the worst possible time. Yeah, that’s always the case.
So, how do you work around it? I am just not sure. I do however have a spangled gold top ten list for you and your procrastinating, reading self to enjoy. This is my personal list, and I am pleased as punch to tell you, I excel at all ten. Especially number seven. Sometimes, my happy go lucky friends, it’s the process of procrastinating that helps our super writer selves get back in the proverbial saddle and draft those darn posts and articles. Meet your deadlines….always, and with flair. How? By procrastinating and working under the gun. Who knows, maybe we work better this way? Either way…this is how I get my yoga pant, lazy daze brain to get on the purple pen pushing train.
1. Stare at a blank page for a while. Hmm…you had the right words, but they have escaped. Searching under the bed yields no returns, so you become fixated on your pad or computer screen. Maybe, you’re watching the cursor blink…rapidly as you continue to press the space bar. This activity is great for hand eye coordination, and rapid blink-ability.
2. Suddenly, you have the incredible urge to deep clean. Dishes in the sink? The dreaded laundry dragon roaring? Perhaps you feel the urge to purge all those letters and papers and bills in that box in the closet; after all, a thirty years is a long time to hold onto those receipts. This mind numbing activity will actually increase blood flow, as old memories pop into your mind’s eye. Perhaps a memory story? Or, you can just sift through the kitchen junk drawer for more inspiring paper.
3. Snack time. You’ve been sitting in front of your laptop for a whole 15 minutes. Breakfast was half an hour ago. You MUST be starving. So you go to the pantry for a snack.🍩 Or maybe you’ve decided to go healthy. Perhaps you need to get something you can share with the dog or the birds. After all, sharing is caring and it’s less calories, right? I have a new name for this, I am calling it procrastisnacking. A combo of two awesome words…I bet it will make the urban dictionary by midnight!
4. Video Games. 👾🎮 So, now you’re back in front of the happy dancing cursor. Nope. No ideas. Tap, tap tap on the keypad. Well hell, may as well bring up a game of angry birds or words with friends. Word games..,yeah, that will be almost like working, because it’s a brain booster. Maybe it’s like research, right? Words, words, words. Better cognitive skills by finding words, means better stories when you get that awesome thought train. Choo Choo…now I’m thinking Good and Plenty….Choo Choo Charlie says….better get back to work. Man, I am having an ADD moment! But we’ve all been there, high five my glittery geniuses! We’re writers, we’re weird, and that’s cool.
5. Brainstorming. Whoa Nellie! This is actual work! Why is it in my top ten list? Well, just what wonderous and creative things am I brainstorming? It’s like that game, where you write the word ELEPHANT on the top of the page and see how many words you can find. Awesome sauce! Well, as you can see, brainstorming can take you on a wild and wicked trip down the yellow brick road. So Toto, I think we may almost be in Oz!
6. Nap time. Yup. I don’t know about you, but all this activity has exhausted me. Could be the insomnia, but heck, look at what I’ve done! Hmm…is that the dryer buzzing? Oh who cares, a twenty or thirty minute power cat nap will be incredible just about now. You know, we could all benefit from some 💤💤💤.
7. Coffee Break!☕ Wow! That was an awesome nap! Hmm..,maybe I need some coffee. Cruddy poo…pots empty. Guess I’ll just have to brew another. Three or four cups should keep me up and jumpstart the old beany brain. And I’ll save the last cup for some iced coffee when I get rolling and writing.
8. Book Browsing. OK. Really I mean reading. Writers get better if they read more, right? Just a few chapters and I pinky swear that I will get down to the nitty gritty writing. Deadlines are for a reason, I mean, aren’t they? Oh heck, now I’ve finished the book, read some poetry online and this post is due up and viral by the end of day.! Phew…only 6:30! I’ve got 5 and half hours!
9. Panic. Ummm…OK, but just a little. Where are my ideas? Why did I wait so long? Why am I refusing to use my stash of ready written posts? What will I write? What do you sweet, maraschino cherry topped cupcake readers want to read today? I am screaming in my head.
10. You actually start writing. Well, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Suddenly words and sentences start rushing through your mind. You can hardly type or write fast enough. What are you writing? Who knows? You can edit later, but if you’re like me, that procrastination bug has left you with a solid and sweet idea. Topic of interest for all.
What methods of procrastination work for you? Or are you a total organized fly girl/guy with pen at the ever ready? Feel free to share. New methods of procrastination always eagerly accepted with coffee kisses and glitter.
Stay caffeinated and motivated! ☕️