11 May, 2016

Creative procrastination.

I consider myself a master procrastinator. If they gave out degrees, I'd have a PhD.  I rationalize (sounds so much better than "hide") the behaviour with the logic that I actually work better under pressure. That's a cop out but it's true.  Give me an impossible deadline and I come through a winner.

In the meantime, I find hundred of ways to delay/avoid tasks ranging from taxes to grocery shopping. Are you sitting there shaking your head in agreement? Are you reading this instead of tackling your daily word quota?

Whether you're avoiding the dreaded synopsis or (like me) yet another round of revisions, the Internet is the front runner in fun ways to procrastinate--far better than laundry or rearranging your underwear drawer.
Aside from Facebook and other social media, the Internet offers quizzes to take (Which Pixar Villain are You? or What American accent do you have?), games to play (Empty Room Escape or Mutilate a Doll), and other ways to waste time. But some can actually be productive--or at least illuminating--while still wasting time.

I recently heard about an online editing tool you can find at ProWriting Aid.  You can try it for free. Apparently my writing (or the bit they analyzed--Chapter 1) was clich√© free, but had a lot of "sticky" sentences which slow the reader down. The site also searches for plagiarism, diction and several other issues. It actually gives specifics and suggestions, not just general observations. Plug in a large section of text, read every comment and you can easily burn of hour of time.

Not having wasted enough time, I moved on to a website called I Write Like This site analyzes a passage of your work, and tells you whom you most resemble. Apparently I write like David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, or Stephen King. (I tried it three times with different pieces of my manuscripts.) I'd like to think the King comparison is most accurate because, hey, he's a great author and I could never fight my way through Ulysses.

David Wallace I"d never heard of, but he was an award-winning American author of novels, essays, and short stories,  widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest. In 2005, Time magazine included the novel in its list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.Not too shabby an aspiration for a guppy like me.

So, now that I've wasted an inordinate amount of time surfing the net and writing this blog,  I'd be interested in hearing who YOU write like. 

Post a comment to let me know. And please add any other favourite procrastination devices that will save me from my revisions.

2 comments:

  1. Funny! Running off to a friend's debut book launch, so you can procrastinate further by reading The Immaculate by Marian Stanley - you won't regret it!

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  2. Good one! I am supposed to be organizing my study after blowing it apart with New England beer book piles and edits and notes. Oh, there's a blog post I could write (or 10), a shower might be nice since I'm going up to the Colby library to get Irish books for my WIP (research = procrastination)....on and on.

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