Procrastination meme

I’ve been tagged by CNUT:

“List the top five ways you distract yourself when you should be writing and then procrastinate some more by sending it to all those other writers who should really procrastinate more often.”

Top five, that’s quite difficult. All five probably involve the Internet in some fashion. It really is the world’s best tool for not actually accomplishing anything. Most days I can procrastinate non-stop without having to leave my office. Today, on the other hand, I successfully avoided doing any work by driving to Brighton and letting a stranger pull a tooth out of my face whilst being so heavily sedated I have no memory of the event.

It’s a very strange thing when you can’t remember a portion of the day which involves drills, pliers and your face; but I went from an injection in my hand to someone poking me in the ear and telling me to go home. I lost a tooth AND half an hour of my life. It just doesn’t seem fair somehow. Mandy, on the other hand, thought my post-drug confusion was hilarious and has been making fun of me all day.

Meanwhile, back at the point; my top five methods of procrastination:

  1. Responding to emails. The trick here is to make sure everything you write ends with a question, that way the person receiving the email feels obliged to respond, meaning you have to reply again and before you know it, it’s lunch time. I get a couple of emails a week from random strangers asking for advice (Why me? Seriously, I give slightly less useful advice than inanimate objects) and they always apologise for taking up my time. Apologies are nice, but completely unnecessary. I might have had to do some work if they hadn’t emailed.
  2. Internet forums. There are a few forums I check on a minutely basis, just in case I’ve missed a really interesting thread I have no intention of replying to. Occasionally I do chip in, but generally I just lurk and laugh to myself at the inanity of it all. My particular favourite is watching people with no experience argue continuously about how to format a specific element of a script. It’s great, you get pages of people quoting various gurus who also have zero experience of actually writing and selling scripts. I’m not saying these people have nothing useful to teach, but most of the minor quibbly points of format just don’t matter. No one really cares, as long as the finished project looks roughly like a screenplay; but people spend more time arguing about what it said in the last book they read than actually writing.
  3. Reading blogs. I read all the ones on my blogroll, but I also branch off from there to read the ones other people link to. This really can go on all day. I waste even more time composing eloquent replies to almost everything and then deleting them because they make me sound like a tosser. Or, you know, more of a tosser than usual. Occasionally I find a useful nugget of information which shines new light on a particular method of working and dramatically improves my skill as a writer. Mostly it’s just a mildly voyeuristic way of wasting an hour or so.
  4. Watching crap TV. After all that time in front of the monitor I need a break, so I head downstairs for a cup of tea, a biscuit or a bit of cake and half and hour or so in front of the old goggle box. Normally that will mean an hour of Stargate, Scrubs, The A-Team, Futurama or The Simpsons; but I’m in the process of rekindling my love affair with TV so I’m trying to record stuff at night I actually want to watch and then watch that instead. I used to love TV and watch every new series with gleeful anticipation. A few years back I somehow lost that love. There are years worth of worthy shows I’ve never seen and since I want to do more TV work, it’s about time I got back into it. So, technically, you could argue that’s not procrastination – it’s research. Yeah, right.
  5. Checking my stats. Jesus, this one’s pathetic; but I find my self irresistiblydrawn to that little graph which tells me how many people aren’t reading my blog or checking out my website. It’s fascinating and I probably check it dozens of times a day. I’m not proud of this behaviour, but there you go. Most of the hits on my blog come from people searching for “Do they really have sex in sex scenes?” Which seems like a remarkably stupid question. Today, someone found this blog by searching for “Best script writer ever” which, presumably, is some kind of mistake on Google’s behalf.

And there you go. I’ve got a vague feeling I’ve done this meme before and therefore so will have everyone else; but it’s possible the teeth drugs haven’t worn off yet and I’m just imagining it. In which case, I’ll tag Jason, Lucy and Dom.

Categories: My Way, Random Witterings | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Procrastination meme

  1. Bastard!!!!

  2. Phill, you have been shamelessly promoting yourself as THE BEST SCRIPT WRITER EVER, ever since you started this blog … possibly because it’s true? 😉 So don’t give me that “Google made a mistake” crap.

    Why didn’t ya tag me, ya b**tard? — Oh yeah, send it “to all those writers who really should procrastinate more often” … Guess I’ve got that covered. Darn!
    I may do it anyway. 🙂

  3. Except this is my spare hour in the day I’m supposed to be devoting to the rewrite.

    The rewrite.

    Oh shit.


    Got to go!

  4. Dom: you’re welcome.

    Eleanor: fine, you can be tagged too; and I promise you’re top of the list for tagging next time. 🙂

  5. I second dom: bastard! and he’s a bastard too. Just because. ; )

  6. Lovely. Although only two insults before breakfast is actually an improvement these days.

    And, now I come to think about it Eleanor, when have I ever claimed to be the best at anything? I thought I’d made it quite clear I’m hopelessly mediocre at the best of times.

  7. crustynomad

    I think you’ve ripped off my ‘To-Do’ list.

    So c’mon – what are the stats? My random witterings average about 1200 hits a month (thanks largely to essentially just one useful post in 15 months) so someone with something useful to say must be doing quite nicely.

  8. Crusty! You never ask a blogger what his stats are, it’s just not done. That’s the Internet equivalent of asking someone where they wipe their jiz when they’ve finished wanking.

    But since you’re asking: about 3-5000 a month, depending on how many times the lone loon still posting insults about The Wrong Door checks for a reaction.

  9. Darren

    ‘wipe their jiz’?

    I’m officially going ‘ewwww’…

  10. That’s why people don’t talk about it. Jolly bad form, you see?

  11. crustynomad

    If I didn’t have a reason to ask before I certainly don’t now…not least because you’ve told me the answer.

    Also you’ve put a picture of mind that is not becoming of my place of work. Now, if you had been referring to the sexpots on the fourth floor…

  12. Bastard! Sorry, just thought I’d complete the hat-trick.

    Its a good list by the way, a lot of them ring true for me apart from being asked for advice. In fact, I’m one of those that have emailed you so sorry for apologising all the time. Forgive me.

  13. I would add: reading pdf screenplays, trolling music streaming site for tuneage

  14. Reading screenplays sounds awfully useful to me. That’s practically working.

  15. I would like to aid in your procrastination. Add me to your blogroll. :-p

  16. There’s a long, long list of people desperate to get added to my … oh fuck it, why not?

  17. you missed out responding to posts on your blog with long answers. video games are a good way to piss away a few precious hours, also trips to London for one meeting and of course wanking, you seem to have missed that one out.

  18. Only because my mum reads my blog. Besides, I think it’s safe to say my reputation for being a prize wanker is assured.

  19. Haha. Thanks.

  20. There’s a prize?

  21. More of an award really.

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