I love Mark Twain. I was thinking of writing a blog on procrastination and found his thoughts on the matter: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
Of course, finding clever quotations is one of my favorite forms of procrastination, so there you have it.
When we first began The Stiletto Gang (five years next January!), I wrote a blog about playing Free Cell, http://tinyurl.com/freecellblog. It was all about procrastination, guilt, and the writer's spirit.
You'll be glad to know I haven't played Free Cell in at least three years.
But have you ever played Lexulous? It's a Scrabble-type game and I justify playing it by saying it improves my vocabulary. The problem is I now know a plethora of new words (and by the way I knew the word plethora before playing Lexulous) – but I have no idea what they mean. Za? Wo? Xi?
Anyway, I was feeling guilty again (and we all, by all I mean family, friends, and even complete strangers, agree that Guilt is Marian's middle name). Tempus Fugit, etc.
But then I had this conversation with a friend which suddenly made my playing Lexulous not only perfectly acceptable, but in fact, part of the creative process. She explained that when she confronted her husband about his playing Backgammon online (and I do think that is a classier game than Lexulous), he said that while he plays, it may look like he's wasting time, but actually it frees his mind to wander and see things in new, creative ways. She assured me that since I was a "creator," I too had permission to play Lexulous for hours at a time.
Okay, she didn't actually suggest that I could play for hours at a time -- but it did give me the permission I needed to indulge in a little wordplay. It's probably how War and Peace got written.
I then got to thinking about the larger issue. Why did I need permission in order to procrastinate? Was I worried that people would think I was a goof off? (And the answer is yes, I was worried about that). But generally speaking I'm not frustrated by the pace of my life. I get the important things done. Sure I'd like to write a new mystery in four weeks, but to a certain extent, I can't push my whodunnit muse until she's ready to move. Yes, sometimes it helps to put something down on paper, anything, and then revise. Sometimes it's just the spark you need to get things underway. But often, you need time, uninterrupted time, to let your mind explore new, exciting ways to create devilish murder and mayhem.
So if you see me tapping away at my computer, it may indeed be the next Brianna or Maggie or Mac mystery -- or it could be me letting my mind wander.
What's your favorite form of procrastination?
Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David
Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Lottawatah Twister - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Missing in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Book 1 - I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 - A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)
Murder Off the Books Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords