'I really should be writing but...' is a new blog series. I am currently reading 'Taking Reality by Surprise' and one of the exercises in the book is called 'I've always wanted to write but..' which looks at the things we put in the way to distract us from writing. The exercise is meant to confront and dismantle the blocks that stop us from writing.
Coming home, slumping down into the cozy chair, pulling down the blinds to block out the evening sun and chain-watching episode after episode of Mad Men, BSG, West Wing or what ever Amazon has posted to you. Before you realise it, it has gone half nine and the washing-up still needs doing, you need a shower and your eyelids need some major shut-eye.
Box sets are addictive. There is no need to wait for next week's episode because it's waiting for you on the main menu. After staring at a computer screen at words all day and then torturing your muscles at the gym, your body needs to have a sit down. The eyes are craving something that doesn't involve an ISBN. You do want to write because there is a new desk upstairs and it's your novel. You know it has been rejected by one or two agents but one of those offered some really great feedback so you should be spending every minute polishing and pruning to send it back to them.
But the box set pulls you in with its four episodes per disc. Watch every one and you get a prize. Its the satisfaction of knowing that you can chain-watching without needing a break. While upstairs, chapter thirteen is in need of a major-major-major redrafting and chapter fourteen needs a read through before adding paper notes.
You come up stairs after watching Don Draper drink ten billion whiskeys, still win the girl and get an award for an ad campaign that he wrote down on the back of a fag packet. You give your manuscript a little pat and promise to work on him tomorrow. You promise one episode. Because you need to wean off a box set slowly...
If you want to write your own 'I really should be writing but...' post then feel free to either write a guest post for here or send me the link. I would love to know your distractions.