The Art of Procrastination: My Writer’s Block – Part One

My Writer’s Block

It’s been a while since my last post and I bow my head in shame that I have been slacking on the blog front. I am a procrastinator of the worst kind -I set goals, things I would like to achieve, productive uses of my time, stuff I can be proud of, and then, because it becomes part of the ‘to do’ list, I instantly would rather find something, anything else to do. It’s terrible. Writing my blog, my book, weekly shops, washing, washing up, cleaning the flat, tidying up, these are all things I want to do. No, wait, the first two are the only things I actually want to do, unfortunately by the time I’ve done all the other stuff that has to be done to avoid living in squalor (and even then I’m not that great at doing them regularly enough), I look at my list and think, ‘I’d rather watch a film now’.

Add to this that I spend my working week writing for other people in the world of marketing, finding the motivation to sit down and write something of my own that is creative, funny, interesting, and actually worth reading becomes impossible.  And even now as I write this, I realise this post fulfils none of the above criteria, but sod it, I’ve never been one for criteria, fell short the second I was born – “all four functioning limbs? Ah, not quite.”

I know that most people find that after the daily grind stuff is complete, there is a level of procrastination that follows. Once you reach the activities you want to do, you often find you just can’t be bothered, or ran out of time, or it’s raining and you’d rather watch GOT or Friends in your pjs drinking cups of tea and eating cake – unless of course you’re a self-motivated saint in super drive.

My better half is one of these self-motivated saints that successfully does all the washing up (quicker than me) and sits down to write at least 500 words each day of the weekend. Instead of his almost fastidious dedication to his writing inspiring me to do the same, I sit in my pjs, jealous, and even more reluctant to do it – just with a steaming side plate of my own self-imposed guilt and sense of failure as a human being.

He’s just a better person than me, he wants to write and he does, even if he comes out grumbling, he’ll sit in his room and write. I’m proud of him for it. But I also have a weird satisfaction that in this case he’s the exception and I’m the rule. Or so I’m assuming, you could all be sat there thinking: “No dear, he’s the rule and you’re just the lazy, unproductive exception trying to justify said lazy behaviour by bringing us all down with you”. To that I say “touché my fictional readers, you are quite correct and astute” (although I’m not convinced that’s the case – to both your astuteness and me being the exception).

However, saying that, I actually took it a step further. I’ve become so adverse to writing as a weekend activity that I managed to fill my time over the last few months with other crafts just to put off writing.

So now that I’ve bored you all with a rather long-winded explanation (and fantasy conversation) detailing my lack of blogging and human failure, today’s post is going to show you what spectacular projects I’ve worked on instead of all the things I should be doing (mainly writing, some cleaning too). Be prepared to be exceptionally underwhelmed….

The Art of Procrastination

I’d like to point out faffing as one of my procrastinations, but there’s no picture for that. Also, nursing hangovers has been a bit of a contributor to weekend laziness, although often I’m not even really hanging but just tired from the late night (yes, I’m getting old) – it’s still enough of an excuse to watch films and drink tea. But enough of that, behold actual activities.

Painting:

I warn you I am a very bad artist, extraordinarily bad. My paintings always look wrong, some basic perspective knowledge is distinctly lacking, or you just can’t tell what it is- so really I have two styles: Shit. And Shitter.

The painting was copied from this photograph from my A-level:

Flower

My version:

flower painting

As you can see my version is, well, crap and definitely falls under the ‘shitter’ category of my artwork. Plus side, I had a lot of fun painting it. I was fully relaxed and immersed for an entire Sunday afternoon – I not only managed to shut the world out, I blocked out my internal neurotic stressing and anxiety of life crap. This is quite a task.

So although painting is one point in the ‘bad procrastination’ column, in the ‘making life more enjoyable, semi-bearable, and less anxiety ridden’ column, I’d say a solid two points. This doesn’t change the fact it looks like an eight year old painted it (don’t be polite and claim it doesn’t, it absolutely does, maybe a little insulting eight year olds, lets make it a five year old), or remedy my lack of writing, but at least it benefitted my personal sanity.

….

I may have discovered why I don’t write very often, it seems I have a lot to say. Having moved onto activity two, I discovered another 1,500 words on the subject. So my procrastination journey is going to be a three-parter to accommodate my ramblings. I hope you enjoy! The next instalment will come soon.

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My Struggles with Health

So I sat down to write today  (we finally have internet in the new flat) and all I can think about is the long year I have had with my health. With my disability, I often feel like I am held back in a body that hinders me and lets me down. My brain is telling me I can do anything but I quite often get to something and realise I can’t.

A small example of this would be getting a hammer and nail ready, picking the point on the wall and then realising that I need two hands, one to hold the nail and the other to hammer…ahh duh! But that’s the story of my life and I take these hinderances in my stride, shrug it off, and laugh about the fact that there are just some things that I can’t do.

This year however has been a tough one with other health issues. I’ve barely make it a few months without something cropping up and smiting me down. Aside from various periods of RSI, some lasting months, other lasting a week or so, I had a series of kidney infections as well as bronchitis (that saw me go for emergency nebuliser treatment).

The most recent hiccup was simply a change in the weather aggravated my asthma for four days where I was permanently breathless and had to take a trip to a&e for another nebuliser treatment (two in one year after years of none), and a course of steroids (eek). It was a hairy week for me this week, apparently frequent and shallow breathes makes you incredibly dizzy and there was a few moments where I almost went down. Scary stuff.

I powered through and made it to work as I just couldn’t afford to miss anymore, and I’m sick of my body dictating my quality of life. The latest has baffled me the most. I’ve had asthma my whole life but I’ve never had attack quite so severe other than when I had bronchitis. The bronchitis made sense, there was crap in my lungs. This time round, I have no idea, all I can say is that I think I may be getting less resilient to stuff as I get older, which is utterly depressing.

So while this is a bit of a ‘poor me and my string of ailments’ post, there is something beneficial that comes from all this crap- the moment you feel better. It is easy to fall into a trap of daily life where you don’t get off your ass and do stuff because you can’t be bothered. When that is taken away from you, and then you get the freedom back, for me, I get hyper, pro-active and unbelievably happy. It’s a reminder to not become complacent in life, I’m 24, it’s the time to enjoy everything and achieve all that I can.

I think stress is probably quite a big factor in health, and I’m not the best at letting stress go, and it has been a tough year. Although my recent break-up has offered some relief, moving house, settling somewhere new with a new life has been an adjustment, on top of which, work has brought added stress. I’m still finding my way in the world, and generally it sucks being an adult. You don’t really believe your parents when they say it’s tough, I always thought my mother was being melodramatic. She wasn’t. On the the other hand, wouldn’t life be really dull if it was easy all the time?

Something for you to chew on.

Reconnecting With Me

It  has been a very long time since I sat down at my computer and felt inspired to write. I started this blog to share my experiences, my challenges, my past and hopefully my present, and somewhere along the way of transitioning from student to working professional, as well as taking a leap with my now ex-boyfriend to live together, I find I have become lost in the process. So I am back to the beginning, doing the thing I love, writing.

A quick recap on where I’ve been for the last year and a half: I interned at two companies working in social media and editorial roles. I was offered a job as a content writer for a digital agency (couldn’t have been a better fit career-wise) and I am now coming up to a year working at this agency.

The working world has had its ups and downs, I have suffered on and off with RSI (Repetitive Strain injury) which as you can imagine with one working hand, is possibly the one of hardest things to survive through- you never know how much you truly depend on something until it stops working the way it should! Lucky for me, the RSI comes and goes and I’m working out ways to stop it from getting really bad – generally trying to stay stress free helps!

So as mentioned above, that ex I moved in with, let’s tackle that saga. We had been together two and bit years, ups and downs but generally ok. I get the content writer job, we move in together and let’s say that was the nail in the coffin really. They say that moving in is a make or break for relationships, this was a break…a big break.

The crack was around six months ago when there was a discussion about leaving for a life that isn’t ‘settling down’ (came after a traveling holiday that I couldn’t join him for- he got the travel bug), the crux of it was that he wasn’t sure if he wanted me to come with him and was unsure about us as whole (a bit of a blow at the time).

We took some time, tried to make it work, but ultimately the end was nigh. While I think he knew it wasn’t right during this time, I needed this period to prepare, adjust and move on and now I am ready. I somehow manage to fall for men with some serious fear of commitment, I hold on thinking that it will change, it never does, I only end up hurt. But on the plus side, you live and learn and I’m ready to move on with my life- the next exciting chapter is waiting to be written, so its time to pick up the pen.

That is pretty much all that’s happened- it’s been a bit of a roller coaster but with a new home will come a new leaf full of possibilities. So I am going to lay out some late new year’s resolutions as it has been a crappy start to 2014 and I am going to start it fresh from here:

1) Get stuck into writing my half-started novel

2) Actually keep writing my blog

3) Say yes to as many opportunities as possible

4) Date (never really done this before- eek)

5) Become ridiculously fit (exercise not vanity)

6) Get better at standing up for myself-  my push over days are over

7) Continue working on being the best person I can be.

So those are my goals for this year as reconnect with the person I am, rather than the person I’ve been living. I am a survivor, I have no choice (nor does anyone for that matter), but sometimes along the way (as with most people) little parts of us get lost, buried until something big shows us it’s time to go back and find them again- Carpe Diem bitches! We only get one life to live our lives as ourselves- don’t compromise on being you- individualism is probably one of the most stable things we should a posses as human beings, it is only external forces that make us question this.