Are you struggling to get a single word on the page today? Have you been sitting in front of your laptop for the past two hours googling fan art of your favourite bi-monthly podcast or Netflix original series? How many times today have you muttered ‘I really actually work better at night anyway, this is pretty normal for me, just need to get all the distractions and weird impulses out of my system..’?
At least one time, I bet.
Eddie Mars is just like you: a victim of procrastination. He was handed a Golden Opportunity – a bank holiday weekend – and he woke up on Saturday morning absolutely determined to make the most of it. To be the fabulously productive writer he dreamed of being.
His aims were vague but ambitious. He wanted to get a few more chapters written in the old first draft. He was going to edit a thing he wrote a while ago, get it all polished up for publication, maybe try a few prompts or free-writing exercises to change things up a bit.
‘It shouldn’t take that long to edit the short story, really,’ Eddie said. That was several hours ago, in the murky unused depths of this morning. ‘But maybe I’ll just watch a quick episode of OITNB first.’
And now here he is. Still sitting at his desk three cafetieres of coffee later and the only thing he’s achieved today is a bad hand-drawn sketch of a character he hasn’t written a single thing about in days. He’s not even an artist – literally, no knowledge of how to draw – and the whole stupid attempt just made him feel worse about not doing the thing he is supposed to actually love and be sort of sometimes good at. Unfulfilled good intentions are becoming the norm for Eddie.
‘And you can’t even blame it on writer’s block, Eddie Mars.’
Eddie jumped so violently his knees hit the underside of his desk and sent his pencil rolling to the floor.
‘Wha-?’ He listened for the ghostly voice to repeat itself, knee throbbing and fingertips pricking with a confused rush of adrenaline. But all he could hear was the familiar tinkling of his ‘#amwriting’ Spotify playlist, and the damning sound of his own not-typing. He cautiously settled himself back into his seat and brushed off the disembodied criticism as too much caffeine and an overactive imagination.
‘But do you know…’ he mused, ‘I might have like, attention deficit or something.’
He knew he didn’t, but he typed it into google anyway.
Don’t be like Eddie. Get something done today. Have a glass of wine or go somewhere public maybe – a cafe or something, where people can see over your shoulder and judge you for coming to a cafe only to scroll on Facebook for half an hour. Or maybe write a blog post about yourself as a fictional third person instead, I don’t know, just get some words down.
(Or, y’know, just do it tomorrow instead. The world won’t end if you get nothing written today. Not even the fictional one you’re holding in your head.)