Thursday, October 6, 2011

Friday 5: Futility, in five short acts

I've been a little absent these last couple weeks, but it's not because I'm lazy. It's because I'm being productive for once! I've been putting the finishing touches on an article, and planning a couple of future ones. Plus, my son's on fall break, so, you know, zero free time. Also, I forgot last Friday was Friday.

My writing "process" might have something to do with it as well. Here's what today's process looked like.

Act 1: Warming up/arguing with self

OK, self. Time to finish this article.

But I'm so tired.

No, you're not. Forget the sleep deprivation thing. Just pretend you've had more than four hours.

Oh, OK. I'm at the computer. See?

I see you checking Facebook.

Nuh uh! It was ... Flickr. And then Facebook.

OK. Cut it out. Work. Now.

But ... but wait! A bunch of people like me on Google+ now! Promoting my photos there is LIKE work, right?


Oh, OK. Fine. [Work for 45 minutes.]

Act 2: Richard Dawkins needs my help

Oh, wow; look. Bill O'Reilly and Richard Dawkins talked again. What an idiot. I have to watch that!

No, wait. Work. Can't watch it. I'll just keep the page open for later.

Well, sheesh. Now the page is slowing down my computer. I can't close it yet, but I have to close it and get to work. It would be irresponsible not to watch the interview!

[Watch interview.]

Oh my gosh. He really is a moron. I wish there was some way I could go on the show. I'd be ready for him.

[Fatasize aboout handing Bill O'Reilly his ass about science. Realize Dawkins is approximately 5,795,021 times more qualified for this. Narrow it down to the niche of raising freethinking kids, in which Dawkins only beats me by a margin of 26,045 to one. Fantasize for a while anyway. Start to mentally script out what I would say. Think about typing it. Pull up Word.]

Agh; that's right! My article!

Act 3: 98 degrees of separation

[Work on article. Come across interview reference to medical journal article. Type in search terms for said article.]

Well, that's not the right one, but look at what else this doctor did. I didn't even know that procedure existed!

Whoa; it goes all the way back to the 1800s! Who knew? I must research this further. Who cares if it has anything to do with the article? Being well-informed makes me a better writer!

[Several websites later, a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Head to Wikipedia.]

[Several, several Wikipedia pages later] Whoa; I never knew that about chewing tobacco or the Emmys!

[Stomach growls.] Geez. I'd better get some lunch so I can finish my ... oh no.

Act 4: Everyone's against me

[Get some lunch. Put it on desk. Son calls from living room, even though husband is also in living room. Playing a video game.]

Can I have a snack?

[Get snack. Bring it to him. Sit down in office.]

And a drink?

[Get drink. Sit back down.]

And a sandwich?

[Get sandwich.]

Are you sure there's nothing else?

Hmm. Could you watch me jump off this ledge?

No! And why are you doing that?! Is that what you do when I'm in the office?

No... [Looks guiltily at husband. Husband looks abashed.]

[Consider fighting with husband. Decide eating would be more fun. Go back to office/lunch. Cat is carrying my chicken down the hallway in his mouth. Give up. Have cake.]

OK. Work. For real.

[Write three whole paragraphs. Yea me!]

Act 5: OK, fine then.

Well, look at those paragraphs! I'm on a roll. I never thought I'd get that part written. OK, then. I just have to paste in this quote...

[Copy quote from other file. Paste. Word says F you. Shuts down, taking difficult paragraphs with it.]

[At the same time, evangelists knock on door, son runs into office, cats start fighting, and phone rings.]

[Play on Flickr.]

[Play on Facebook.]

[Play on Google+.]

Son: Mom, are you still working?

[Feel immensely guilty. Am done.]

And that, my friends is how not to write an article, in 45 easy steps.


Christina Wilsdon said... Best Blogger Tips

:) There's definitely a little zeitgeist thing going on--check out YA novelist Meg Rosoff's blog today on how she muddled through the day when she needed to get writing done (and apologies because I am thus leading you astray from that article you're working on...)

TGIQ said... Best Blogger Tips

This, right here, is my life (well, minus kid and replace hubby with wife. Add 3 dogs and 3 cats and it's bang-on).

Jessica Holden said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey--are you sure we aren't the same person? And now we have a sweet but demanding bird added to the mix who squawks incessantly if she remembers I'm home, distracting me even further. And if I go get her, she contentedly and quietly distracts me by chewing up my keyboard buttons, mousepad, or the wires behind my monitor. So right now I am sitting in a coffeeshop instead to avoid the cats, bird, and distractions. but instead of working, I am reading my favorite blogs. And checking flickr and Facebook.