Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things Writers Can Do Instead of Writing

Using myself as an example, I thought I'd show you a few of the things writers might do to avoid writing.

1. Take your camera outside and photograph the weather. You saw my yellow flowers and my double rainbow pictures earlier this month, but here's a shot from last winter. It was early in the morning, the air was frosty, the snow fluffy, and the whole neighborhood was white.

If you like looking at nature photographs, visit The Coloradoan's Colorado photo contest entries for July. There are more great photos of the double rainbow.

2. Pull out your old picture albums, and scan and organize the best prints. I turned up this picture of me as a kid. That's kinda the way I look today when I discover a great new book to read. Some things never change.

3. Visit the family and entertain yourself by taking silly pictures of family members. This one is Birdee. She is very intelligent and has proven many times that she has a memory. Bird brain, indeed! She would be highly indignant if accused of being a bird. Oh, yeah, the guy in that picture is my brother. He's also very intelligent. Funny, too.

4. As a writer, you can always avoid writing by scheduling book signings and other promotional activities. Group signings are entertaining, especially if you can connect up with great authors such as Colorado's Mike Befeler (Living With Your Kids is Murder), Linda Berry (Death and the Crossed Wires), and Beth Groundwater (To Hell in a Handbasket).

5. If you've forced yourself to sit at the computer, you can switch to Solitaire or Minesweeper, or you can open your photo editing software and play around with graphics. On an earlier post I displayed a photo I took in Norway in 1998. Here's the altered version.

I know I'm not the only writer who procrastinates. It you write, what are some of your favorite way to avoid working on your current project?


Helen Ginger said...

I tend to spend way too much time checking email. Although I do occasionally play a game of Spider Solitaire.

Straight From Hel

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Love the picture of you as a baby! Too cute.

Gosh, I don't think I could name all my distractions. My children are probably my two biggest ones. :) (But they're fun.)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Holly Jahangiri said...

Blogging, photography, cooking, reading, and if I'm really, really desperate: housecleaning. The latter is a form of penance for procrastination.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Twitter and Facebook -- there's always something going on, a quiz to take or a meme going around that's FAR more important than whatever you should be working on.

Of course there's also my favourite distraction: travel! I'm off to Lake George now. Might do some writing there...

Marvin D Wilson said...

Blogging. I should be working on my WIP's right now but I'm blogging instead. ;)

The Old Silly

Terry Odell said...

I regard all those "procrastinations" as warmups. I read a blog or twelve, make a few comments, think about my next blog topics. Solitaire (and I have a 500 varieties version) clears my mind so I can approach the writing.

But faced with writing or housework, it's writing every time. And even when I'm not working at the computer on the WIP, I'm 'head writing'. Hubby's learning that just because I'm wandering the house or standing around staring into space doesn't mean I'm not working.

Peg Brantley said...

Email, Freecell, Twitter, Blogging, Chasing Squirrels, Filling Birdfeeders, Cooking, Cleaning, Running Errands, Laundry, Reading, News, Movies, Re-Runs, Organization, Thank-You Notes, Critiques, Hand Watering, Taking a Walk, Time with Husband, Clean Up Photo Program on Computer, Figure out Excel, Update/Create Address Book, Clean out Inbox, Begin Christmas List, Take Shower/Bath, Shave Legs, Surf Craigslist, eBay, Spanish Lessons, Research, Thanksgiving Menu Planning, Play with Screensavers and Background Colors, Rearrange Furniture, Hand Weights, Exercise Ball, Apply Makeup, Paint Toenails,

Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with Elizabeth, my daughter is my biggest distraction.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, everyone. Peg definitely wins title of "champion procrastinator" so far. It amazes me how popular this topic is among writers. So far, I only know one writer who does not appear to procrastinate. Someday I hope to interview him and see if I can figure out why (provided he'll stop writing long enough to talk to me).

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm guilty of the using the Solitaire trick or reading one more page and then another etc. of a good book, or one more blog and then another! Avoiding writing is simply too easy!

Lisa Keipp said...

I get distracted by Facebook and other online groups.

The only writer I know of that is not procrastinating is Laurell K. Hamilton - she writes every day on a set schedule!

Going to museums is also a good distractor - and I justify it by saying it's for my writing...viscious cycle!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Sigh. Just what I need more ways to be distracted.

I think getting bogged down in blogging, both visiting and prepping for mine are at the top of my list. That also entails link-following, which is a self-generating thing.

Then, software tweaking or software exploring comes next. This includes researching software I want to buy. Obviously, I’m a software junkie.

Yeah, I’m a time waster for sure. I try not to be, but, it’s so much fun, and there’s so much of interest “out there.”
Best regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Connie Arnold said...

Reading other people's blogs, Facebook, doing surveys, working on a quilt (not really a distraction since it's accomplishing something lovely, I guess!), Twitter, email (ooh, I just got a new one, gotta go!)

Alan Orloff said...

Maybe you should rephrase the question: What ISN'T a good way to procrastinate?

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted so many other writers goof off with computer solitaire. I'm with Helen - Spider is my worst nemesis. The more games I play, the more depressed I get, and yet it's curiously addicting.

The blogosphere is also a major distraction, but I consider blogging an art form in its own right, so I don't consider it procrastinating. Who's to say which form of writing is superior?

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso