I started writing this post an hour ago. Somewhere along the way I ended up playing two games of chess, made a cup of coffee, and ate a load of rubbish – all before writing a word. If procrastination was an Olympic sport, I would be a legend in my own lunchtime.
It’s already 10:30pm. How did that happen? I’m asking myself that a lot recently. I get up, have a shower, make a truly terribly lunch, cycle to work, swear profusely at the computer for eight hours or so, then come home, fight the good fight against the house, the garden, and my family for several hours, write a few words on the internet, and then collapse into bed. Repeat five times and you have my typical week. Add on a couple of weekend days washing clothes like a madman, and you have my entire week.
I’m too tired to think of anything exciting to write about. There are quiet goings on in my head – perhaps plans to prepare for an eventual path out of WordPress Valley – but I’m loath to talk about it, because it means blogging about blogging – and that’s got to be the most insufferable blogging rabbit hole there ever was.
I’ve already decided what the first post of the new blog will be called – “Brave New World”. Let’s hope the estate of Aldous Huxley don’t start a lawsuit. Can you even imagine the court case?
“On the left we have the defendant – the copyright holders of Aldous Huxley – beloved author of perhaps the most famous dystopian novel in the English language – and on the right, we have the accused – an internet nobody that likes to empty his head into a blog about nothing in particular, but that could also be described as dystopian in it’s own depressing way”.
I wonder what they would fine me? A packet of chocolate buttons ?
The clock is ticking towards midnight, and you find me sitting at the dinner table in the lounge with the laptop. I started writing this post fifteen minutes ago, but somehow found it much more important to first finish my cup of tea, then copy some music over from the networked hard-drive in the other room – to listen to while writing this. Of course that didn’t quite go to plan – I had to tinker with Windows 10, and then install a half-decent music player app. None of this got me any closer to writing anything. It never does. I think I know why too.
I don’t actually have anything to share today. Well… nothing of consequence. Not that I’m letting that stop me. I’ve written far more about far less in the past, and I imagine I will in the future too. It’s a particular skill – filling a screen with text that serves nobody, goes nowhere, and achieves nothing. If procrastination had an awards system, I imagine it would involve some sort of ceremonial sash that could be worn to literary events, and admired by fellow procrastinators.
Anyway. Enough of this nonsense. It’s almost half-past my bedtime. Time to go sit in bed and noodle around with the Amazon tablet for a while – studiously avoiding reading any of the books stacked on the bedside table. Making any actual progress at anything would seem quite ridiculous, all things considered.
Yesterday lunchtime I discovered quite by chance that the latest beta of Scrivener for Windows doesn’t crash in quite the same way the old version used to – which means I’ll be going back on last week’s dramatic pronouncement that “Scrivener is dead to me”, and trying to convince everybody that I never said it in the first place.
While playing with the new version of Scrivener – which is quite lovely – I lucked into a quite accidental procrastination black hole. Fonts.
Who knew that choosing a font to use while writing would be so important? I certainly didn’t – until I started changing the font, typing a few words, changing it again, and so on. I even did a Google search for “font recommendations for writing”, and ended up reading countless discussions in forums about which fonts people like to use while writing, and why. It turns out lots of people have given this lots of thought in the past.
This is all a tactic of course. If I tinker with the font, it looks like I’m getting ready to write something. Just like I bought the laptop, installed it with this operating system, that software, and the other backup strategy – it all avoided me actually writing anything.
Do blog posts count as “anything”? I think they do. Of course I’m telling myself that so I don’t have to confront the slightly guilty fact that I haven’t really written anything of consequence for the better part of fifteen years – just like I haven’t really drawn anybody or anything since leaving art college twenty eight years ago.
I’m good at procrastinating. I wish it was a valid skill to list on a CV. If you were hiring somebody to make sure your department achieved very little – a problem I’m sure most politicians face on a regular basis – it would be really useful if you could more easily find the most useless people.