(The Game that Puts the Pro into Procrastination)
Okay, so today’s the day you’re going to finish that chapter / start that new novel /crack on with that poem. Today is DEFINITELY the day. Only these things can’t be rushed. Maybe wait until you’ve got a few cups of tea inside you.
Okay, that’s better. Time to open up that Word document. As soon as you’ve checked your Twitter feed, that is. And updated your Facebook status. And put the bins out. Ooh, look, a new recipe for vegan Christmas pudding!
If you’d rather tweezer out your own eyelashes than buckle down to some proper writing then you’ve come to the right place. Grab yourself a Procrastination Bingo board and get crossing off those boxes. Heads down, everyone, markers at the ready. Any row to win or all 16 essential tasks for a Full House!
1. Buy more notebooks – the more beautiful the better. Not that you’ll actually use them for writing in, obviously (that’s what scraps of paper and the back of old envelopes are for) but you owe it to the 57 notebooks you already own. They might get lonely otherwise.
2. Rearrange your writing space. It turns out January’s very own Janus (Roman god of beginnings, doorways and transitions) is a bit of a crafty ‘Changing Rooms’ type of fellow too. Nothing makes him happier than moving desks and bookcases round and creating new storage solutions for overflowing collections of notebooks. Of course I may be confusing him with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen..
3. Research, research, research. Now, some people come at this all wrong, by letting the writing project dictate the research. All well and good if you want to spend your days in dusty library books about Victorian shoemakers, or endless Google searches on the mating habits of crocodiles, but less good if you’re hankering after a healthy slice of lemon drizzle and a bit of winter sunshine. Why not make this the year you thoroughly research a book about a hapless writer/notebook collector who tours the local cafes feeding his/her face with endless cake and cups of tea before heading off on a round-the-world cruise? Ah yes, I can practically hear the waves lapping against the ship now… *sniffs air* And is that a bestseller in the making I can smell? Oh no, wait, I think it’s lemon drizzle cake.
4. Yes, you guessed it, spend more time on the internet. After all, once you’ve clocked up 4,000 tweets of 15 words each you’ll have written the equivalent of a 60,000 word novel anyway. I make that about 11 tweets a day… Easy! But don’t forget the #MmmLemonDrizzle hashtag.
5. Plan the soundtrack to the film version of your as yet unwritten novel. It really doesn’t do to leave these things to the last minute. (Bet you’re glad you ditched your Victorian shoemaker book now aren’t you? Good luck finding songs about cobblers with big beards and pocket watches). Don’t forget to watch each YouTube video all the way to the end, just to make sure the timing’s 100 percent accurate. And if you don’t have a scrap of paper or the back of an envelope to hand for jotting down your perfect playlist, you could always pop out for a new notebook…