Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Best Laid Schemes ...

... o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

from To a Mouse, by Robert Burns

Procrastination is the name of the game folks. Of course there are a lot of other names that apply to me these days, but that's the one I'm picking. ;-)

A few weeks ago I finished reading a book and if it hadn't been on my Kindle I would have pitched it across the room. And if you know me at all, you know it would take a lot to make me treat any book so badly. However, this one ended on a cliff hanger, one of my pet peeves. Normally I'm pretty good at ferreting these offensive tomes out and just not downloading them, but this one managed to slip through. At any rate, I sat down and started a nice, rant-worthy post about it, and ... it's still not done. I just keep putting it off.

I've also been putting off the edits for An Elemental Earth. No idea why; I just can't seem to get in the right head space. It's done, it just needs to be edited. And because it was serialized the editing shouldn't be all that difficult - no major changes or anything.

And as far as other writing goes ... yeah, I've pretty much been putting that off too. The Toronto Star runs a short story contest every year and I actually have a story that's close to being done for it, but I keep putting off finishing it. Why? Who knows. I even started to rewrite it completely in an effort to not finish it. Maybe I'm waiting for Wednesday when I'll finish it in a flurry and then overnight it so it gets there in time. No electronic submissions allowed, it has to be physically in their hands on February 29.

I'll open up one of the things I should/could be working on but then I'll figure I've got a big block of time coming up later, so I'll do it then. Or I really need to beat the devil at solitaire, otherwise I'll have bad luck. Or maybe I should write that email I've also been putting off. Or ... you get the idea.

I've got all kinds of other things I could be working on as well, but ... It's not like I'm not coming up with ideas, I've got oodles of ideas. I've got one that's been marinating in my brain for a while now and I keep refining it. But that's as far as it goes. The words in my head just don't seem to make it onto the paper. It's like they're being diverted somewhere - I just have to figure out where.

Another word that might be applicable here is distraction. I remember when I used to be able to focus (usually on a book) on something and nothing in the universe would distract me. In fact, family members would think it rather amusing (okay, more often they found it annoying) that World War III could be going off around me and my attention would never waver from the book I was reading.

However, as I've grown older I find I'm losing the ability to focus with that kind of intensity. That's not to say I've lost it entirely, sometimes my husband will be talking away to me and I just won't be aware of it. Then five minutes later something will click and I'll look up from my book or my lap top with a, "What?" Drives him crazy.

When I started writing this post, I put some CDs on to listen to and suddenly my attention wavered from what I was doing to what I was listening to. It was Two Steps From Hell, Battleborne from their newest CD Battlecry. This is one of the few songs of theirs that have lyrics and I love the story it tells so much that I decided to look it up to see if it was from a movie or something. That led to finding it on YouTube, then posting it to Facebook for others to enjoy, and then ... then I remembered I was actually working on a blog post.

And so it goes.

Some people call it writer's block, I call it procrastination and distraction.

No comments: