My reading on various blogs – and Tweets and FB posts – would suggest that some writers suffer from procrastination. They find it difficult to force themselves to sit down and write, and I remember a time I used to have the same problem.
However, in the past year or so, I’ve swung completely in the opposite direction. I never let myself stop.
My laptop has become an extension of my body. I write (or edit or revise or critique) whenever I am home. I do it while cooking – and sometimes burn dinner. I have my computer on my lap while watching TV – to the point where my husband sometimes declares Family Movie Night to be a Laptop Free Zone, forcibly removing Gabbey’s laptop (she suffers from the same problem) and turning the lights out on me, because he knows I’m a terrible typist and can’t write in the dark.
Because I teach a full working day, I often feel as if I have to use every second at home to write in order to get anything accomplished. Last week, I started to burn out. I’d reached an impasse on two separate projects. I was tired and cranky and I wondered why I didn’t just …
… take a night off.
Horror of horrors! It’s not just Resolution 2011 – to write every day in 2011. In fact, the resolution was an argument FOR taking a night off. Why not donate to the Ladies in Ghana and spend an evening watching Torchwood on Netflix-streaming, hoping to catch Captain Jack in leather pants?
Leather pants. Wanna look some more? Go ahead; I’ll wait.
I came to this conclusion by 9am that day, and I felt such a sense of relief, giving myself permission to NOT WRITE. Or maybe it was the mental image of those leather pants.
Anyway, by 3pm, the VERY IDEA of taking a break had knocked something loose, and I suddenly knew how to get around at least one of the problems frustrating me.
Don’t laugh, but I didn’t take a complete break from writing that night. (I had to get down my ideas while they were fresh. I had to.) But I did set a limit on how long I would work. And then I shut the laptop and watched some TV.
No leather pants that evening, but his smile is really cute, too. Really.
So – are you a Slacker or a Slave Driver?