Of course there is a downside to this. If I want to get anything achieved I have to be disciplined – and believe me, doing that to yourself is a whole lot harder work than getting someone else to do it to you. (Cue dirty joke about discipline...)
So I set myself a goal of a certain wordcount per day. Then I go out of my way to do anything – anything – that will stop me achieving that. I am the Queen of Procrastination. It’s not that I dislike writing, oddly. I love writing: I am addicted to writing: I get a physical high from a good day’s work and if I’ve done nothing I go into self-loathing sulk. But I am scared to start. I am scared that yesterday’s work will, like fairy gold, have transmuted overnight into a pile of steaming horse-manure. I am scared that I will not be able to express the pictures in my head. I am scared that for some reason, without warning, today the words will not come.
So I procrastinate. I have this routine: I check my e-mail and deal with matters arising. I look on Lust Bites. I check the other blogs and websites I like to lurk on. I play a game of Spider solitaire. I check my MySpace. I update my blog or my website if there’s something new to say. I play a game of Spider solitaire. I check my e-mail and deal with matters arising…
The horrible thing about the internet is that it can be updated at any time, so hanging on the refresh button becomes habitual. But my nemesis is Spider. It used to be Alchemy, and Sudoku, in their time, but the pattern is the same whatever the game. I like Spider because it is a simple logical battle with a win-or-lose outcome. If you win you feel good about yourself. If you lose there’s no consequence, so you start the next game. Spider focuses the mind and leaves no room for worries about nuances, plot-lines, or the struggles of interacting human personalities (fictional or otherwise). It is clean. It is solipsistic. It allows you to taste triumph on a short time-scale – something very much missing from a writer’s life, where all real victories take months and months, even years, to win.
So tell me – what are your procrastination vices? What tricks do you use to put off that fatal moment of confronting your creativity and forcing it to do your will? Do you read other erotica authors “just to get in the mood”? Do you eat? Do you power nap? Do you make a nice cup of tea? (Yes, I do all those things too!)
And I will leave the last word on Working From Home to the magnificent Mitchell and Webb: