Sunday, August 16, 2009

Even now, just occasionally, I hear my mother's voice

"If you write a thousand words today, you'll feel a thousand words less desperate and put-upon tomorrow."


Fred said...

Mark Twain said
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

And I can see the disdain that filled my ma's eyes whenever I spent a day stomping round the house, fuming my way up to an essay, saying, "I can't write, I can't write." Maybe it's an effect of having four children, or maybe not, but she just doesn't do (or sympathise with) procrastination.

Deborah said...

Ahh.... that would be, "If you write your lecture on Machiavelli today, tomorrow you can write your lecture on Hobbes and maybe even your lecture on communitarian ethics and then you will feel free and easy for the rest of the week."

The Paradoxical Cat said...

She was right of course, and she had your best interests at heart...

Elisabeth said...

Here's a quote from AS Byatt that I like to drag out in justification of procrastination whenever the urge to put things off hits me.

" She remembered from what now seemed the astonishing free and spacious days of her education the phenomenon of the first day's work on a task. One had to peel one's mind from its run of preoccupations: coffee to buy, am I in love, the yellow dress needs mending, Tim is unhappy, what is wrong with Marcus, how shall I live my life? It took time before the task in hand seemed possible, and more before it came to life, and more still before it became imperative and obsessive.

There had to be a time before thought, a wool-gathering time when nothing happened, a time of yawning, of wandering eyes and feet, of reluctance to do what would finally become delightful and energetic. Threads of thought had to rise and be gathered and catch on other threads of old thought, from some unused memory store."

A. S. Byatt Still Life

Stephen said...

If I don't procrastinate now, when will I?

Lefty E said...

... the never ending battle!

When Im really procrastinating, and I mean when its *hurting*, I do the word-surge!

ie forget spelling, punctuation, sense, tense, rhyme, reason and most importantly the urge to pause and read - and just TYPE till Ive emptied my mind on the topic.

Then I go away for a while, and come back an edit the writhing mess.

Then I can fool myself into believing Im "polishing" a final product.

...Not that any of this wont be known to veteran writers such as yourselves, of course. :)