Last week I finally started work on the radio play I’ve been thinking and talking about for a while. As I think I’ve said before, it’s not exactly what I want to be writing, but it’s getting close. I’m practising my art, and will create a strong opening salvo, something that will open doors, if nothing else.
This morning I got up before 5:30 again and started writing, but made no progress on the play. I started a whole new short story instead.
It wasn’t my fault. It was all because of yesterday’s sermon and an illustration about a Venn diagram. It just took over my imagination and I had to get it down on paper/screen.
That doesn’t count as procrastination, does it? Jeff’s exhortation today is to prepare, not procrastinate. I must admit to being a bit confused, though. I’ve been expecting his tips to be about just getting on with whatever that big project is you’ve been procrastinating or working on, but some of his tips – about practicing in public, writing something scary, submitting proposals to new outlets – require you to spend a lot of time working on the other stuff, the peripherals. That’s fine if you’re a full time writer, but if those two hours in the early morning are all the time you’ve got to work towards your goal, it seems to me that you ought to concentrate directly on it.
Maybe that’s because I’ve spent the last couple of years preparing already, though. The soil is well and truly tilled, there are still weeds and a few stones dotted around, but my writing muscles have been well-and-truly flexed, and it’s time now to put them to work.
So, maybe I was procrastinating today. How can you tell whether the thing inside you that’s jumping up and down shouting ‘Write me! Write me!’ is the thing you’re supposed to write or another Distraction? Is paying attention to it and letting it see the light of day the only way to find out whether it’s the real masterpiece you’ve been waiting for?
I guess we’ll find out!