Writing takes a lot of not-writing, I find. Some people, I've heard, call this "procrastination," but I think those people have "Work Ethics." I try to avoid that sort of thing. It's why I moved away from all those Work Ethic-y people in New England to live in laid-back, beach-addled Los Angeles.
Some of my favorite ways to not-write include:
- Watching my collection of television shows on DVD, and does it matter that I've already seen the entire series of Buffy sixty-seven trillion times? Or that I can speak all of the lines along with Claire Danes in My So-Called Life?
- Ordering new television shows on DVD. Because I am a completist and must own every single season of La Femme Nikita or die trying.
- Watching newly-recorded television shows on TiVo.
- Programming new television shows into my TiVo, which is very time-consuming and then there's the question of season passes. It's a delicate operation.
- Reading the eighty-seven blogs which comprise my daily "Blog Rounds," because I am convinced I might spontaneously combust if I do not keep up on these matters. Also, many of these blogs are Industry Related, (i.e., once or twice a month, someone mentions writing), so this is actually Working.
- Reading my favorite political blogs, the better to work myself up into a towering rage, which has nothing to do with work but means I am A Well-Rounded Person Who Knows What Is Going On In The World. Which is very important when one is actually more of a hermit, who hides in her little cave for days at a time, only emerging when it is time to make a spectacle of herself at social events.
- Catching up on the approximately four hundred emails I have, at any given time, left unanswered in my Inbox.
- Deciding that it is time to Get Serious about my personal fitness, which involves a trip to the corner store to purchase fitness magazines like Shape, hours spent becoming hysterical about how much my body does not now and never will resemble that of the Shape girls, approximately thirty-nine tons of chocolate and/or Ben & Jerry's to ease the brutal pain of having more of a keg-shaped abdomen than any six-pack nonsense, and a guilty sugar coma in front of the aforementioned television shows on TiVo or DVD. Then and only then, I might consider going to the gym.
- Re-reading favorite books from my personal library. To be honest, most of the books in my personal library are "favorites" and it's not so much a "personal library" as a "dizzying heap of books around which I have crammed in a small apartment."
- Reading books from my mountainous, ever-expanding To Be Read pile, the one that is currently more of a "bookshelf all its own" than any piddling "pile."
- Buying new books online, which requires hours of research, review reading, and contemplation.
- Buying new books in actual bookstores, which involves Leaving the Apartment (a rare occurrence, as I might have mentioned), taking myself to a mall, accidentally shopping at Lucky Jeans and Anthropologie (crack dens, both of them), maybe having some lunch or coffee, lurking around in the book aisles attempting to will people to buy my book with the force of my stare, and then spending hours picking out new books to cart home and add to the terrifying To Be Read pile. This can take whole days.
When you think about all the things I have to overcome, it's a wonder I get any writing done at all.