This blog post is inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43. I have been thinking a great deal about how to find time to revise my manuscript. I’ve discovered I have a variety of writing avoidance behaviors, all of which have been quite effective. Maybe ( I thought), if I just write a list of avoidance behaviors I have employed, I can avoid them and get back to more ‘serious’ writing. Here goes.
Relatively Short stall techniques:
1)Read blogs and books on How to Find Time to Write – estimated wasted time 1-2 days depending on the number of items you have to read or until eye strain sets in.
2)Make a calendar to schedule writing time for the next six months – estimated time consumed varies. But if you use a computer it can stretch to one full day.
3)Clean something small – the kitchen floor, your top dresser drawer, sweep the deck. Estimated time wasted: 1/2 to a full day if you do all three.
Medium Length Stalls:
1) Do the laundry. Since the wash machine and dryer do the actual work, you can still do one or two of the short stall techniques listed above in between moving loads of laundry between the washer and dryer.
2) Clean something BIG; the garage, the hall closet, the space under your desk, the backyard. Estimated time wasted will vary depending on how many things you find you didn’t know you had and can’t possibly throw out while cleaning the garage, the hall closet or under your desk. Some would argue that these items are not time wasters since they are valuable in themselves. But if you aspire to be a writer, this argument doesn’t hold water.
3) Binge watch a television show. This is relatively easy if you have a DVR and get one of the re-run wonder channels that specialize in re-running early episodes of a television show still in production. These are usually shows the in the seventh season that will be going off the air soon. (I will probably be left wondering if Jamie, the youngest member of the crime-busting family on Blue Bloods, will ever get promoted to Detective or will he leave the New York Police Department to become a priest.)
4) Re-finish some furniture, preferably something large that cannot be taken outside or ‘temporarily’ stored in the garage. For me, this was a four-day stall, but I hope to reduce my speed with practice.
What do you think? Was it worth it?