Thursday, 1 March 2012

Procrastination Tools for Writers #1: Recycling Your Old Manuscripts

Options for procrastination are endless. And yet, there's always time to find some new and exciting ways to put off doing anything useful with your time. Sally Poyton is here to show how you too can put off writing for a whole day longer...


1 Find any loose sweets/nuts/anything else edible in the house and make some attractive boxes for them. Then you can feel less guilty for eating them, because they will look like an extremely expensive and well-presented gift.


2 Try to think of anybody you know who might have a birthday in the next few months and get ahead with your wrapping. Depending how many manuscripts you have lying around, you could even play one-man pass the parcel.


3 Alone in the house? A paper aeroplane can keep you occupied for hours.


4 Not alone in the house? Try making a nice pinata, then arm your child with something to hit it with and watch whilst your manuscript gets beaten into submission.


5 Look around the house. You never know, there may be something that could use a fresh coat of paint. Your manuscript can provide a handy protective layer for your carpet whilst you hone your DIY skills.


6 If there are any small animals around, you may feel they deserve some home-made bedding. It turns out you can spend hours cutting paper into small strips.


7 Spring is on the way. It's time to make sure your plants are well-contained. Don't bother driving to your nearest garden centre - your manuscripts can provide you with something both sturdy and easy on the eye.


8 It's so annoying when you sit down to write and find that the table is wonky. Well, make sure it's stable before sitting down. If you're in desperate need of procrastination, try adding the paper one sheet at a time.


9 Writing can distract you from housework for long periods of time, and mug stains can get out of control fast. You may find you are in need of new drinks mats.


10 Try brightening up the house with some paper chains and bunting. You can never have enough paper chains and bunting. Not even when you've covered every square inch of the walls, your husband and as many children as you can locate at the time. Honest.


11 A bit of fancy dress can make your day. Wedding, anyone?


12 Before sitting down to write, procrastinate a little longer by making sure everyone in the house knows how hard you're about to work.


13 Insects can be a irritating distraction. Before you get going writing anything, it's worth going around the house a few times to take any out with this easily-accessible and lightweight baton.


14 Well you can't write when you're cold, can you?


15 Last but not least, when it all becomes a bit much, you can always dig yourself a little manuscript-burrow and curl up for the winter.


And remember, this isn't exclusive to manuscripts. It can extend to rejection letters, too...

21 comments :

  1. I love this SO much! I will now go and look for a small child to whack my old manuscripts! Brilliant.

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  2. Oh my gosh! Just brilliant! LOL

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  3. Oh I love the pinata idea!

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  4. I'm currently attempting to dig myself out of my manuscript burrow before someone mistakes it for a pinata. Thanks Sally, very funny post.

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    1. Sounds like a good plan, Maureen! Watch out for any golf club-wielding children...

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    2. It's not the children wielding golf club to watch out for, it the matches...

      ...Good luck tunnelling!

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  5. I'm currently attempting to dig myself out of my manuscript burrow before someone mistakes it for a pinata. Thanks Sally, very funny post.

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  6. This is a very timely post, as I'm currently cleaning out the study - which very much resembles a manuscript-burrow - to 'make room to work'. Procrastination has nothing to do with it.

    p.s. we have had many a back garden bonfire lit up by cheerfully burning MS's. It isn't very green but does keep you warm on an autumn night

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    1. Hi Teri, I think I need to follow you example, my study its chaos, usually I can ignore, amazing levels of mess but my brain can’t focus so i think I should try clearing it. But I’ll start with the study. Then it'll be time for a tea break right?

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  7. LOL!! Such brilliant ways to recycle one's ms!! Waste not want not! Wonderful!! Take care
    x

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  8. Brilliant post, Sally. For some strange reason I find myself playing in the digital darkroom. I'm trying to create "works of art" from bits of photographed MSS...

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    1. Sounds great,do share them! I'm not that clever on the PC it's all glue and scissors here!

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  9. Absolutely hilarious! Thank you for making me laugh this morning.

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  10. Very clever! I love recycling and this is a great example. Usually all my old invalid manuscripts go in a tray for the kids to draw on, but I think it is time to get a little more creative, thanks for sharing. :-)

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    1. Ramona, That's what I used to do with mine, let the kids have them for drawing. This has stopped now that they can read!

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  11. That is avery stylishly wrapped pressie, Sally

    Now you're on Notes from the Slushpile, you're surely destined for great things!
    x

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    1. Thanks Jan! Very happy with my wrapping skills am I!

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  12. Love it!! Am now going to search out my old manuscripts so I can try some of your suggestions

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  13. What fun this is! We all know the lure of procrastinating - great that you can make us laugh about it.

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  14. This is sooo funny. For some more light relief here is a funny about procrastination
    http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/cartoon_23.html

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  15. Ha ha - love this post. Very very funny, and useful too.

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