You cannot turn creativity on like a faucet. You need to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last minute panic.
- Bill Patterson
This may be the first and last blog post I write for this iteration of my digital monologue. I start and stop blogs with reckless abandon. There are probably a dozen half-assed attempts scattered in dusty corners of the internet by now. Some came from bursts of creative euphoria, while others were borne on a roll-tide of resentment and torpidity. I fear this blog will go the way of the others, frivolously discarded in pursuit of newer, shinier activities.
Much like getting a haircut, or maxing out a credit card on a new wardrobe, I often have the urge to digitally re-invent myself. And it's never so much a re-invention as a repackaging. I have a thing for playing with new software (a throwback to my wayward adolescence watching 'Hackers' in a school basement whilst learning how to code, very poorly). So when the writing gets tough, the weak get geeky and start building new websites for themselves. I like to think of it like digital feng-shui, a re-alignment of sorts. Of course, it's really just another form of procrastination, like folding laundry or cleaning the fridge or reorganising the children's toys (and I use these things quite often as an excuse to hamper my creative output, so often you'd think my house would be spotless, but alas...).
The thing is, and may I'm just making excuses for myself, but I don't really believe in procrastination. Sure, I definitely leave things to the last minute. All. The. Time. And I do find that starring at the back-end of a deadline that's just zoomed past ignites a certain panic-stricken creativity. But I work with slow deliberation an equal amount of the time. And it's slow because things happen that pull me away from my desk. My son needs a snack, my daughter needs a cuddle, my husband needs to know where we keep the scissors (in the same spot they've been since we moved into this house 7 years ago, but I digress...), my sisters Snapchat stupid filters incessantly, the proselytisers want a cup of tea and 20 minutes in our air-conditioning and just when I think I've found my way back on track, I stumble across a trove of wine and cat memes that must be shared with favourite friends.
Of course, if I never shut myself away and flick on my noise-cancelling headphones, I'd never write anything more than a to-do list, but there are always moments of quiet to be snagged, unlikely and infrequent, perhaps, but existing in the moments in between. I just cannot bring myself to believe in the demonised monstrocity that is 'procrastionation'. I believe that 'procrastination' is just life, waiting to be lived. And since I write stories about people living their lives - ordinary, suburban people - it makes sense to me to live my life. After all, if I get to the end of my life with only a handful of stories but a trove of memories, I know I'll be richer for it.
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