Sunday, 21 December 2014

The master of procrastination

When I was a student facing exams, I used to make detailed revision plans that were mini works of art. Different colours, fonts, tick-boxes and so on. These were time-consuming and quite often I didn't get done anywhere near the revision that I'd intended when I made my ambitious revision timetable.

Subconsciously, maybe that was the point. Or possibly not even subconsciously.

I am a master of procrastination. I don't think that there's anyone as good at it as me.

And here I am again with a big project and I am finding endless things in the way. One of the biggest and most difficult to solve at the moment is where I should set up my computer and my pile of notebooks and sit to write.

The kitchen island unit - long my writing home, but it's a stool at a kitchen counter, and although its close proximity to the fridge and biscuit cupboard are in its favour as a venue, the stool has no back and I slouch dramatically, which causes my back to ache, and my feet are off the floor, which makes them hurt too. Moan moan.

The kitchen table - my current location. Pros include the size of it; there's room to spread out papers, there's a radiator right next to me and clothes airer behind, so I'm nice and cosy, and the kettle isn't far away. Cons: the chair is hard and the wrong height and again, I have such bad posture that my neck permanently aches. Also, the table is where we eat most of the time, and so everything needs to be cleared away for meals.

The dining-room table - works pretty well in summer, but in winter it gets a bit parky in there. There's a big table, great for lots of paperwork, but it's also the room where my daughters practice their musical instruments so there's a keyboard at one end, a cello at the other, and piles of music everywhere else. So, if I decide to set up in there, I usually find myself musically accompanied, which is nice on one level, but not conducive to thinking. We tend to eat in there at the weekends when there are more of us, so clearing away is necessary once a week. Better than the kitchen, maybe.

The sitting room/bedroom - both great for slouching and snuggling but not really what I'm looking for if I mean business longer than a blog post.

The office - where my husband sits with all his computers when he works from home like a spider in the middle of his hi-tech web. The ideal place for another desk - and indeed, before the children came along I had my own space and it was lovely. I had all my things around me; pen pots, inspiring pictures, books and drawers full of all the bits that make me feel professional. Alas, the office is full of things now like filing cabinets and sofa beds and piles of things with no other home that have been stowed away in there. No room for my old desk, which is in pieces in the loft, or the nice swivelly chair that languishes with it. Also, I think my husband is possibly one of the most untidy people in the entire world, and I'd struggle to spare a space with all his clutter.

So I am nomadic. I move around with my computer to the room with the nicest light, destined never to find a comfortable home. Ah, woe is me. This book will never get written. Circumstances are conspiring against me!

You see what I'm up against?

Maybe I ought to start exploring coffee shops and write in there with a latte and a toasted teacake. Or tidy more, or put the heating on in the dining room, or sit up a bit straighter.

And just get on with it.

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