This morning I pressed SEND on my first draft for MAKEOVERS CAN BE MURDER. The manuscript should now be safely in the hands of my editor in NY. Ahh…sweet sigh of relief.
I was especially relieved to send this draft off. Because let’s just say that it was a bit…overdue.
Which brings me to today’s blog topic: the many rich, varied, and creative procrastination rituals that are employed by writers.
Yes, we writers have some amazing ways to delay the inevitable pasting of butt-on-chair-and-typing that is required to complete an actual finished work.
For example: I have a sitcom-writer friend who cleans every drawer, organizes every closet, and sharpens every pencil in her house before she starts working on her scripts for the Zack and Cody Show. And she doesn’t even use pencils.
Internet surfing has become a big-time Writer’s Time Sink. In fact the Internet is learning how to surf us. For example, even if you try to ignore those omnipresent pop-up ads, they know how to leap off their launchpads and grab hold of your cursor. It always takes me a half minute of muttering and banging around with the mouse to drive those damned Wells Fargo horses back to their window. I wonder if there’s some way I could customize my cursor into a whip?
Excessive procrastination sometimes causes writers to fall seriously behind on our overall writing output. We have even…gasp! been known to miss our deadlines.
When that happens, there’s a temptation to come up with complex and creative excuses for why one’s manuscript isn’t being turned in to the editor on time. But fair warning: Editors, or at least the editors in New York, have heard every excuse known to creative mankind for not meeting a deadline. These include:
* I was on the wrong side of the International Dateline (thank you Gary Busey)
* The lack of reliable mail distribution in your neck of the woods (not a workable excuse in a major metropolitan area)
* The impending demise of a close relative (but don’t make it too close lest it prompt the sending of an embarrassing bouquet of sympathy flowers)
* The onset of a persistent-but-vague immune-deficiency ailment that saps the energy required for sustained bouts of writing (but not for attending conferences where one is observed singing and pounding the bar with fists at wee hours of the morning).
So do you have any excuses you can add to the list? Any good procrastination stories you’ve heard?
Click here if you feel like procrastinating some more with the Marx Brothers.