I’m on deadline. Blank Word documents are open on my computer screen taunting me. “Look at us, we are waiting for words,” they whisper. “We have no words on us. NO WORDS”.
I stare at them. And then I close the documents and walk away from my desk. “Write, just write”, I say to myself.
But before I write I must have a shower and dry my hair and pop some mascara on and paint my toe nails. And before I dress myself, I must clean out my underwear drawer. I mean how can someone write when there are old undies in the house? Ok, I’m dressed, now I’ll write.
I sit back at my desk. I open the documents again. Still no words. Coffee, coffee will help. Must get coffee.
I make a strong coffee and grab some biscuits for sustenance. Who can diet when they need to write? Chocolate biscuits are a necessity. Now, to get started.
Still no words. Mind’s blank. Documents are blank. “Hello, we are still just empty pages,” cry the documents. “Fill us up, fill us up.”
But I can’t possibly write when the dishwasher’s not stacked and the clothes haven’t been washed. And the floors must be cleaned. So, too must the kid’s bedroom. These things must be done. If I clean EVERYTHING the words will come.
Shit, is that the time. My deadline is getting closer and closer. I really have to write now. I’m not going to get my stories done. Why do I do this to myself? Every time. Why?
I make another coffee and grab some more biscuits. Diet starts tomorrow – after deadline.
This time I’ll write. I am a writing machine. I can do this. I never miss a deadline. I am great at this. “Well c’mon then,” the pages say. “Hurry up. We need words. We can’t sit around like this all day we have pages to fill. Snap to it.”
Sure thing, I’ll start writing now. Ok, now….. now?
WHERE ARE THE WORDS? WHY WON’T THEY COME? Man, I am crap at this. I’ll never get another job. I’m hopeless. Anyway, I’m a crap writer. They’ve only hired me because someone much better was busy. This is the last time I’ll get a writing gig. Who was I kidding anyway? I give up.
Maybe if I try and relax for a bit. Perhaps have a nap? Perhaps I’ll phone a friend? I know, I’ll look at Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and LinkedIn and my email – again, for the 100th time today.
Fuck, this is a joke. I am joke. I think it’s time I change careers. Or maybe I’ll take up some study? That’s what I’ll do. Just to work out what to study? Mmmmmm.
“NOOOOOOO,” cry the pages. “Don’t give up. Just start writing and the words will come. They always do. We promise you.”
So, I cruise the house looking for odd jobs. I fluff the pillows on the couch. I reheat my coffee. I get an apple and I sit in front of my computer and I start to write. And write. And write. And I don’t look up until I’m done.
I push send on my story. And then I wait. And I hope it’s ok and I start to think of other stories I could write. And I open new word documents and they have no words on them and the whole process starts again.
The deadline dash. Anyone else do this?
Ba ha ha haaaa haaaaaa!!
My problem is that I am HIGHLY efficient under pressure (although I DO have clean my whole house first … when I never clean) … but I seldom produce my best work under pressure. And gawd THE STRESS!
Despite knowing all this however. I still do it. Every. Single. Time.
LOVE! (Says she who has just spent 30 minutes making writing quote thingies when she should have been writing client copy….)
Love it. This is *precisely* what I do.
But I think, like @kellyexeter:disqus says too – I work much better under pressure, and so maybe subconsciously, our procrastination is actually a very good strategy at increasing our efficiency! Well, that’s my rationale anyway…. 🙂
this is exactly how i got through school, uni and continue on today through work and life … if it ain’t broke and all that but, man, my blood pressure! i could feel the ‘subliminal’ pressure in your day just reading this! Hx
i had something due in last Tuesday!
I’m not sure I can remember the last time I did something with time to spare, but I’m sure if I did, it would be rubbish. Not worth the risk.
Doesn’t everyone?! Love it.
Oh yes, I do this too! Including the “fuck I’m crap at this” line. Always the self-doubt. It’s apparent that I’m not alone in this, and there’s something strangely comforting about that :O)
Yesterday I realized I needed to sharpen my eyeliner pencil. It was urgent. Far more urgent than the words.
Oh I do hate the deadline even if self imposed sometimes.
Very funny and close to the bone. I could procrastinate for Australia.
we could win gold at it!
I have spent my entire life saying “I work well under pressure” frankly without a deadline I’m pretty bloody useless. But as I get older I’m really starting to wish I was able to be a “done, dusted, ahead of schedule” kinda person. But it’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime.
Me too, Janine
I’ve always lived by the motto “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing really fast and in a thoroughly slapdash manner at the last minute.” Great post!
Ah-huh, good old procrastination, it’s a killer sometimes, but you just have to sit and start pressing those keys sometimes.
Yes you do. There’ll be no words if you don’t!
You KNOW I relate to this. Thanks for Rewinding.
Except you are better at the writing part xx
Yep this is exactly the same for me as well. So glad to know I am in such great company. Stopping by as part of the weekend rewind and leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses
And me in yours x
Thanks for the fairy wishes x
I love your procrastinating. xxx
Why thanks x