Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Think I'll Learn Japanese Today

Or maybe I'll finally scrape the 1940s wallpaper off the basement stairwell walls. Or I could cook. I need to cook.
The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.
("How to Get Things Done," in Chips off the Old Benchley, 1949)

I am supposed to be writing. Well, look at me. I AM writing. OK, I am supposed to be writing a proposal for presentation at a conference. Thinking about it makes me ill. But it also makes me wildly inventive.

I could start that quilt I've always meant to make. I could call the dentist. Oh wait, I really do need to do that. Hang on. I could play with my virtual puppy on facebook. That has to be a low point.

Or, I suppose, I could just pull up my big girl panties and get to work.

If I write one paragraph at a time, can I have some ice cream?


jill said...

Is THAT why I've been getting so many FB app requests from you lately?


Seriously - in fiction writing, this is what is known as "vacuuming the cat" - e.g. anything you do to keep from writing.

If you write a paragraph, you can have a teaspoon of ice cream. Lather, rinse repeat. No journalistic one-sentence paragraphs neither, missy.

Anonymous said...

How about a nice cuppa? Getting started is the worst. Thanks for quoting Benchley, I'd forgotten about him and need to re read some of his best stuff. Good luck with your writing.