Procrastination and a blinking cursor

Writing has become a little difficult again. I spend an extraordinary amount of time look at a blinking cursor. I have no problem thinking about what to write, but the interface between my brain and hands seems to be a bit broken so what comes out seems – lacking. Even toyed with the idea of getting a speech recognition program up and running to see if that would help but I'm suffering from a severe bout of procrastination-itis right now.

Momentum is key. It's just something I don't have right now. I can see the tasks, options and roads available in front of me. But it's like I've taken a good hard look at all of them, sat down in the middle of the road, looked at them all again, lit a cigarette and laid down on my back to contemplate clouds.

Normally this begins to irritate me after a while. But it really hasn't been lately. Normally the irritation barrels down on me like a bloody big truck which forces me to take a road. But (to wring every drop out of this analogy) lately I've just shifted to the side a bit, let it pass before taking up position again, lighting another cigarette and laying back thinking 'Right where was I?'

Intellectually I know that's not a great place to be because experience has taught me if you don't choose a road, it can be chosen for you. And it's not necessarily the one you want…

Fuck it, I'm bored of analogies now.

The past month we've been tied up with 'commitments' as in visiting people, going away to visit people, attending things for people. Totally routine breaking and free time absorbing. As MBH said the other day “How come we always seem to be there or doing things for people, but nobody ever seems to be or do for us?”

A month of getting back into a routine, and less of the expense of travelling would be welcome.

Moving into the new house at the end of October will help as well, hopefully. Everything feels paused right now for that. A lot of things already packed up and more to go. I don't really do the Steve Jobs ethos of happily sitting on a bare floor with only a lamp for company. I like my things. I've never actually seen the new place. After the love of my life complained so much when we were looking to move into this one my approach has been 'If you're happy with it, then I'm happy'. Supposedly I'm going to have a much bigger home office which will be nice. It'll also be nice to have a garden for the first time in a loooooong time.

Unless I decided to lie down on the grass and contemplate the clouds.

A big disconnected block

Lately my brain seems to be entirely disconnected from my fingers when it comes to writing. No problem with reading, absorbing and thinking about things – but when it comes to writing about them? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Same for this site and the same for Twitter on my other account as well. Pretty much silent there. An echoing cavern of nothingness.

I’m not exactly angsty about it, or worried in any way. I certainly haven’t embraced the share everything ethos that’s for sure.

But I like the act of writing. I like it when it goes well. I like it when it comes easy.

It’s just none of that right now, and that’s pretty frustrating.

But you have to keep doing it. Even just a little bit.

It used to be so easy

Years ago I had another site which I used to write on quite often. I willingly destroyed it entirely for one reason or the other. Mainly because people I personally knew (IRL as the cool kids say) found out about it, and at the time I wasn’t comfortable with the “Are you going to write about this?” or “I saw what you wrote” comments. I guess it would have been fine if that’s what I was aiming for, but writing anywhere on the internet (except for forums) has always been for three people only in my book – me, myself and I.
What I really miss though, was that I was in a habit of writing. I do believe it improved over the years I had the site. And it gave me a certain sense of satisfaction. It’s been – let me think – five and a bit years since I stopped and I’ve stagnated. Got out of the habit. It’s a struggle to get back into it.
Since then I’ve been on Twitter and like the pithy aspect of 140 characters, but don’t ever let anyone tell you it helps with writing … unless you’re trying to write Christmas Cracker jokes.  Facebook is still loathsome and I’d love to educate everyone I know on there what alternatives there are – because then I wouldn’t have to be on there!
Every day at work I get and send a ridiculous amount of emails. It’s a Global, Corporate environment where email is both necessary and used by people to cover their own back. So even if you have a phonecall, expect a follow-up email ;)  On a bad day 500 emails will hit my inbox and I’d easily send out ~50 a day.  My eyes roll back into my forehead when I read the email ‘gurus’ online who obviously are working with around a quarter of that number but preach about ‘inbox zero’ … it’s a distant dream for me. I’m happy if I get to file a chunk of them in folders every day – because in that world you need to keep the info.
What’s the point? Well, that level of email doesn’t lend itself to longform writing – it’s getting more like Twitter to be honest.  In fact there was an Outlook plugin a while back which copied Tweetdeck and I would LOVE that, but it seems to have vanished.
So I’m well out of practice.  I love writing.  I actually miss writing letters to people (old skool me). But I miss having writing come to me easily, words, flow, phrases.
How to get around that problem? Practice I guess.  Do it regularly and surely the habit will come back. Don’t worry about what I’m writing. Just write.
And that – is the sole point of this post.

Tools for the job

Man Logic – If I need to screw some screws (Eh? Well you know what I mean) I would OBVIOUSLY spend cash on a swanky powered screwdriver as it makes sense. It will do an infinitely better job than that old (but perfectly fine) screwdriver I have sitting in a drawer that I got as a free gift in a Christmas Cracker 8 years ago. SO THEREFORE I need to spend cash on some ‘Writing Apps’. Obviously. DO NOT argue with Man Logic … you will lose.

This might work

So I have about (quick finger count) eleven days until NanoWriMo starts. It’s strange but I’ve been thinking about it every other day. I signed up more out of hope that I’d do it than burning desire. But at quiet moments – like making a cup of tea – I’ve been thinking “What the hell am I going to write about?”

I had nothing.

Nada. Zilch.

It was not looking promising. Then out of nowhere tonight a thought formed, which led onto another, then another, then another … you get the picture.

I might actually have the start of a story that will last more than ten pages.


No more concern, just have to wait until it starts. I was beginning to seriously think my effort would be the literary version of a French movie from the 60s … 40 pages of silent angst across the breakfast table.