Monday 29 February 2016

Delays, Distractions and Downright Displacement - Don't Say I didn't Warn You ...

by Addy Farmer et al

I know that children's writers are a determined bunch with nerves of steel and the thick wrinkly skins of rhinos (hmmm, nice) and nothing will swerve us from our laser-like determination to work ... BUT there are occasions when we have to polish the skirting board in the back bedroom or feel the need to micromanage the inside of a fridge or crave a look at cute furry animals. Why? Why?  BECAUSE WE'VE GOT WRITING TO GET ON WITH AND IT'S SOMETIMES A BIT TRICKY.

Well, I'm here to help and after extensive research I have the cat's pyjamas of all things procrastinatoryish. Ooo - I'd better look that up ...  Let's begin with some serious animal cuteness.

Uber cute and uber stylish - who can resist?
I can't stop staring at this kitten
If you want more of this delightfulness then try Emergency Kittens for those times when only a cute cat will do - thankyou, mad-cat-lady, Teri Terry. Got a hankering for kittens and guinea pigs? Try this ...

Like your cute animals super-furry, so that you're not even sure what sort of animal they are? Try Bored Panda for some super examples. 
It's a rabbit, in case you're wondering
OK - enough sweetness? I'm the sort of person who finds cats incredibly good value. Not only are they cute, they are also amusing. They do not seem to care about where they sleep. This site has some great ridiculously distracting cat curl-ups.

My Cat Likes to Sleep in Boxes

Not distracting enough? Then try animal selfies.
This is my favourite (yes, I have a favourite) unintentional animal selfie but there is a man called Allan Dixon who travels the world taking selfies with animals and they are BRILLIANTLY DIVERTING

You little cutie
Need to do some reading to while away the time you should be writing? 
Buzzfeed Quizzes are a great source of actual facts about yourself that you never knew until you took the time away from writing to actually find out. Most of them are pure science so you can tell yourself that this is an education. It's even relevant for goodness sake because there's loads of stuff on children's books or reading or which fairy you are or which country you are most suited to (OK, maybe this IS totally irrelevant). So, you can, for example, determine which Harry Potter character you are and if you don't get the right answer the first time you can just keep going until you do. Wow - I'm Harry Potter, hurrah! (4th try)

smoking a pipe and doing the dishes is proven to help your brain Not Write Words 
Not enough? How about buying stuff you don't really need? 
It's like going round IKEA when you only want 6 wine glasses and a bag of tea-lights and you come out with a sofa and a rather lovely ice cube tray. You can even more easily find any number of things you don't need online without trying terribly hard ...

Who would be without one of these - writers are fuelled by tea and coffee
Look! A t-shirt with a book thing on it! And there's loads more here ...

Nothing says procrastination like a  t-shirt 
Or this! Guinea pig jewellery! So useless and yet so necessary!

Getting desperate? Dangerous sports could be the way to go - call it research

I'm with her ....

I'm just out of shot
It turns out that I Am Not Alone in my determination to find many ways to Not Write. What follows are top tips for delays, distractions and displacement activities:

George Kirk Writing lists of what I'm 'going' to do. And volunteering tbh
Kathryn Evans making powerpoints for school visits, shopping, cleaning, budgeting for the farm - READING- walking the dog...googlign myself - I know I know - THE SHAME
Addy Farmer I love dog googling!

Dawn Treacher Crocheting, thinking of my characters but then yes crocheting a bit more instead of writing them.

Emma Craig Jobling Baking. And lying in the bath.
Addy Farmer Glad they are separate sentences

Sarah Broadley Bizarrely enough, I'm working on a social media handout for a SCBWI event. Irony at its best.

Candy Gourlay Ha ha SCBWI is my displacement activity too.

Catriona Tippin Mine too! Rarely finish anything unless it's for Words & Pictures...

Jo Thomas Anything else! I usually hate cleaning but I've been known to bleach the grout between the bathroom tiles if I know I've got a difficult bit of writing/editing to do.

Amanda George I'll just quickly check my emails then Facebook then the forums then... lol It's just the getting started for me, when I've got myself going I can write thousands of words a day, it's just the planning/remembering that I have difficulty with because of the brain damage!

Nicola Keller Er... don't don't do what I did! On a cold Monday when the words wouldn't come I googled animal shelters. By Saturday we had a new dog. Oops! Now I've got dog walks to fit iinto school hours as well as trying to find time to write/cook/shop/clean etc.

Teri Terry ha! I do kitten/cat googling. I hate how they have those links for adopting cats on facebook - I've spent hours looking at all the cats that need homes do kitten/cat googling. I hate how they have those links for adopting cats on facebook - I've spent hours looking at all the cats that need homes

Nicola Keller How could we resist?

Linda Nicklin well there's the chocolate route, the bleaching route, the googling route, the games completed in better than previous best route, the my dog is deprived if it doesn't get a walk on the beach today route....

Teri Terry Polishing my ducks. No, this is not a euphemism - we have a lot of ducks!
oh - and blogging, of course!

Candy Gourlay Blogging is a great procrastination device.

Sarah Broadley *whispers whoever says they don't need to look that up is lying* Lovely ducks! Edinburgh has a duck race every year to raise money, it's great fun. Just in case you're up here at the same time. Dates for this years race tbc though.

Debbie Edwards Constantly checking my phone just in case I miss an important (?) email/facebook alert/tweet. Also, cleaning the toilets, making more coffee and hunting for sweet things in the cupboard. smile emoticon

Lindsay Littleson Making cups of tea, scrolling through Facebook looking for cats doing funny things, checking out art and craft ideas for school on Pinterest.

Francesca Rosenberg Baking. Eating. Building lego mansions with my eldest son. Building train tracks....endless...

Helen Clark Jones I cleaned the conservatory windows inside and out to escape from my synopsis. It took all day!

Carmel Waldron Online shopping, my accounts, FB, writing inf
Robbie Donaldson Well that's been 10 minutes to read all of these with a five minute gap near the end to contemplate the art of duck polishing. I was thinking "what can be polished on a duck other than its bill and wouldn't any self-respecting duck object..." when I saw the photo of the duck collection. Sigh , it's back to work then.

THANKYOU SCBWI-ers. You are all the bee's knees, the sardines's whiskers, the pig's wings - must find out more ...

I'd like to dedicate this post to that great philosopher-pig and world-class distracting furry facebook friend, Mista Pig.


  1. a baby wigglefloof with tiny squishbeans must be seen!

  2. Ah ha ha! YOU WICKED woman. Googles Allan Dixon.....

    1. What a job that man has! I bet he's actually a children's writer

  3. RIP Mista Pig. An appropriate tribute.

    1. My guinea pig girls, Honey nad Izzy have a photo of him in their hutch.

  4. Reverse psychology. You must look at cute animals for 5 hours. Only way out is to write for 30 mins.

  5. I have to say that I'm upset that dogs were discriminated against and excluded from this post. I thought this blog supported diversity in cute animal procrastination.

  6. I have to say that I'm upset that dogs were discriminated against and excluded from this post. I thought this blog supported diversity in cute animal procrastination.

    1. wow - you're so upset you said it twice. Yes, it's true, I find cats cuter and I'm not afraid to say so. But I hear your cry and will now spend 6 and half hours looking for cute dogs for a future post. Cheers

    2. Cats have so much privilege. Dogs deserve better. Here's a pug

    3. Now I have to go and find it cos I can't click your link. I like pugs. Pugs are the cats of the dog world.


Comments are the heart and soul of the Slushpile community, thank you! We may periodically turn on comments approval when trolls appear.

Share buttons bottom