There are three steps to successful procrastination:
Let me put it another way. I am currently in the throes of NaNoWriMo, so it seems a bit odd to pause for a meditation on procrastination. But I spend a good deal of online time chatting with fellow writers, and in one loop a discussion broke out on, of all things, the proper use of the singular possessive apostrophe (talk about having too much time on your hands!)
This is what I mean. Should you write Dickens’ books or Dickens’s books? The former sounds better, but the latter is the accepted form. I pulled out my Strunk & White and found the rule to be that for ancient proper names, like Jesus and Moses, the form is: Jesus’and Moses’. Which seems to me a little unfair to Dickens, as it’s merely his accident of birth date that gets him the extra s at the end.
One of the other writers cited the “Bible” – The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. She said CMOS “goes for ‘s for singular nouns ending in s––even Jesus’s name.”
Unwilling to leave it at that, and feeling a bit anti-authoritarian that day, I took five minutes and wrote a drinking song, to be sung around a table with other writers, steins of beer in hand, and sung directly to CMOS:
Your singular possessive
Is singularly regressive
And your S’s just make messes!
[Pause for drinking, and pounding steins on table]
When it comes to guys like Dickens
Your injunction is for chickens.
Here is what I say:
I will do it Jesus’ way!
[Finish with more drinking]
And that’s how you procrastinate.
What about you? What are your favorite ways to keep from working on your books? What do you find yourself doing when you know you should be writing?