Things I Do When I Should Be Writing: Part One
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
For me, undertaking any task that is creative in nature can, at times, be very overwhelming.
I’m currently working on my first novel and it’s a helluva lot more daunting than when I decided to write a collection of short stories based loosely on a theme. For one, I’ve relegated myself to doing it from the Points Of View from a multitude of characters. This is problematic because I have to change my perspective and writing style to suit each person. Another reason it’s problematic is that I have to have a finely tuned narrative that flows seamlessly through different styles and voices. No easy task, indeed.
Because, at times, it’s extremely daunting, I find myself putting off the task of writing to do other things. What are these other things, you ask? This installment is going to discuss one of those things: music.
I’m a guitar player and have been in love with the instrument for over twenty years. I’ve played so much that it is now second nature to me, something I wish writing would or could be. It got this way because I used to spend upwards to four hours practicing per day, (here is where I apologize to many of my old roommates for my incessant playing of the Chili Peppers). Now, I could lay the guitar down for a month and not lose my competency. The same cannot be said of my writing. If I’m away from it for more than a few days, I lose pretty much all creative flow. I’m happy for Bucketlist Music Reviews once again because it forces me to keep my narrative voice relatively sharp through practice. I have to work on a deadline as well and nothing is scarier, nor more motivating, than that. For my novel, it’s catch as catch can. When I want to work on it, I will, but sometimes I get frozen when I sit down at the computer.
So, I fall back on my old friend, the guitar. Sometimes I’ll work on songs that I’ve written, or fuck around with covers, but a lot of the time, I try to write something new. It doesn’t have to be a complete song, but I enjoy creating something that didn’t exist mere minutes before. Either way, it gets my fingers moving and forces my brain to think in an abstract way while still centering around some sort of creative output. It does help with my novel writing because it unhinges the jaws of anxiety, but it can be detrimental at times; I may disappear for a couple of hours down that hole which leaves little-to-no time for my writing. Yet, I’ll continue to do it! Why? Comfortability, probably. Still, I doubt I’ll ever change.
So, that’s one way I procrastinate. Next month I’ll go in depth about another time suck that keeps me away from writing. Until then, what’re the ways you procrastinate? Hit me up in the comments below.