Finding new ways to procrastinate writing can be a full time job. It would seem simple: just don’t sit down and type anything, but lordy – it ain’t easy. I mean, the computer is right there and all you have to do is put your fingers on the keyboard and press them down in pretty much any sequence. It’s almost impossible to not do it. We want to help. Here are 10 ways to keep yourself buzzing aimlessly while (mostly) feeling productive (which is key – not writing is all about the feels).
1. When was the last time you cleaned your laptop keyboard? Yesterday? May as well touch that up: do it again.
2. A good way to avoid writing is to search for advice on writing. There are some great lists out there, with really solid pointers – hell, you’ve probably seen them all before, but you’re ripe for a review. You can waste an entire afternoon (or years) searching for the one tip that will make writing feel like a water slide or eating a chocolate truffle. Here are a couple to get you started: Kurt Vonnegut, Zadie Smith, Neil Gaiman
3. Cultivate your smart phone addiction. Do a quick check of email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Next, is everything on your phone updated? You’d better take care of that. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram again. Can you think of something to search for on Pinterest? Try. Try harder. Then check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram again, just to be sure. If you are over the age of 25, are you aware of Tumblr? Try it out. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and don’t forget Tumblr – it’s a whole new world . Any games on your phone? NO?! Find some, stat. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. Stare at your phone. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. Stare at your phone. Put the phone down, open your laptop, check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. Close the laptop, pick up your phone. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. Update your LinkedIn prof- naw, fuck that.
4. “Research” – This can be literally anything, except writing. Anything.
5. How are various sports teams doing? Who’s in front or top or whatever? Even if you do not like sports, isn’t it the kind of thing an informed person knows? Like, “Oh, the Bullcats are still… on top.” You could easily kill a few minutes browsing sports.com or wherever, just to learn the basics. You can still think about your writing while you’re doing that. Bonus: shop for Wolfdog merchandise.
6. What do you feel like doing? Do that.
7. Whatever happened to that one guy on that one show from a few years back? What else was he in? Check, before you forget and don’t care.
8. Floss your teeth, trim & clean your nails & cuticles, remove nose hairs, de-wax your ears and iron your underpants.
9. If your microwave is already clean, which it probably is if you did any writing yesterday, see if your neighbors need any microwave-cleaning. Then ask if they’ll let you regrout their tile.
10. Wait for inspiration.