I don’t really believe in writer’s block, but I definitely suffer from writer’s procrastination.
It’s not like I have one of those romanticized “fear of the blank page” things, nor any of the other elements that go into the typical tortured writer cliches.
Once I sit down and actually starting pushing the buttons, it all flows rather easily. Usually within a sentence I’m in a hole I don’t come out of for awhile, especially when hopped up on the l-tyrosine.
That said, I do put it off. These are my seven go-to writing delays:
1) Reorganize Google Calendars. I do this at least 3 times per day. I have color-coded calendars for every project, job, personal thing, etc. I love to shift all the different tasks around – this means I’m not writing and also feeds my OCD.
2) Put on Breaking Bad, Batman Forever, or Battlestar Galactica for background noise. I don’t actually like writing with background noise, but I like to pretend I do. Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk is often used here, too.
3) Drive to Starbucks and then decide their wireless signal is too weak to connect with Google Docs. Then I head back home and put on Breaking Bad.
4) Change my shirt.
5) Go to Target. If I can’t talk myself into needing something on the way there, I buy a hot pretzel and then walk over to customer service and return it.
6) Decide I need to review/outline what I’ve already written. What I do then is switch the writing task on my Google Calendar and go to Target.
7) Write blog posts. How many blog posts I’ve written in any given month correlates in some ratio with how much of my required writing I’m getting done.
Keep in mind, I published a new book and wrote a whole screenplay this year, so whatever’s happening in these seven activities contributes to my productivity in some way.
Can you guess what I get when Target is out of hot pretzels.