Time Flies When You’re Having fun

By Evelyn David

I love Mark Twain. I was thinking of writing a blog on
procrastination and found his thoughts on the matter: Never put off until
tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Of course, finding clever quotations is one of my favorite
forms of procrastination, so there you have it.

When we first began The Stiletto Gang (five years next
January!), I wrote a blog about playing Free Cell, http://tinyurl.com/freecellblog. It
was all about procrastination, guilt, and the writer’s spirit.

You’ll be glad to know I haven’t played Free Cell in at
least three years.

But have you ever played Lexulous? It’s a Scrabble-type game
and I justify playing it by saying it improves my vocabulary. The problem is I
now know a plethora of new words (and by the way I knew the word plethora
before playing Lexulous) – but I have no idea what they mean. Za? Wo? Xi?

Anyway, I was feeling guilty again (and we all, by all I mean family,
friends, and even complete strangers, agree that Guilt is Marian’s middle name).
Tempus Fugit, etc.

But then I had this conversation with a friend which
suddenly made my playing Lexulous not only perfectly acceptable, but in fact,
part of the creative process. She explained that when she confronted her husband about his playing Backgammon online (and I do think that is a classier game than Lexulous), he said that while he plays, it may look like he’s wasting time, but actually it frees his mind to wander and see things in new, creative ways. She assured me that since I was a “creator,” I too had permission to play Lexulous for hours at a time.
Okay, she didn’t actually suggest that I could play for hours at a time — but it did give me the permission I needed to indulge in a little wordplay. It’s probably how War and Peace got written.
I then got to thinking about the larger issue. Why did I need permission in order to procrastinate? Was I worried that people would think I was a goof off? (And the answer is yes, I was worried about that). But generally speaking I’m not frustrated by the pace of my life. I get the important things done. Sure I’d like to write a new mystery in four weeks, but to a certain extent, I can’t push my whodunnit muse until she’s ready to move. Yes, sometimes it helps to put something down on paper, anything, and then revise. Sometimes it’s just the spark you need to get things underway. But often, you need time, uninterrupted time, to let your mind explore new, exciting ways to create devilish murder and mayhem.
So if you see me tapping away at my computer, it may indeed be the next Brianna or Maggie or Mac mystery — or it could be me letting my mind wander.
What’s your favorite form of procrastination?
Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David 

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4 replies
  1. Laura Bradford
    Laura Bradford says:

    The internet–email checking, FB, my personal blog…rinse, repeat–are my huge procrastination tools. And I'm always angry at myself for doing that, yet I keep doing it.


    Example? I'm writing right now, yet "took a quick break" to check the internet and…here I am. 🙂

  2. Linda Rodriguez
    Linda Rodriguez says:

    I used to knit, spin, weave. and sew. These were procrastination activities that truly did feed the creative spark inside me. Now, between writing itself and the business of writing–no one tells you when you're starting out that you'll spend as much time on the business of writing as on the writing itself–I don't have time for those creative procrastination activities. I'm trying to rebalance my life to bring some of them back into it.

  3. Evelyn David
    Evelyn David says:

    Thank Laura and Linda. I'm trying to find the balance between taking time to let my wander creatively — and just putting off work because I don't want to buckle down 🙂

    Haven't played any Lexulous yet today, but I don't think I can go 24 hours 🙂


  4. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    The only game I ever play is Solitaire and that not often.

    Facebook and my emails are my worst time wasters. I used to knit–no more, there's not enough time.

    (Since I've gotten older, I run out of steam earlier.)


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