I gave Jarmara Falconer some advice the other day. Advice that I could do with following myself. It was about procrastination. Or rather about avoiding it. This is how my day goes:
Switch on computer. Log in. Wait for it to warm up, rub the sleep out of its circuits, stretch its peripherals. (It's quite ancient). Go on t'internet. Check e-mails. Go on BBC site. Check weather report. Go on my blog. Any comments to answer? Go on the blogs I follow. Anything worth commenting on? Go on Google Talk. Is my Chinese friend online? If so – type 'xia wu hao'. Have a bit of a chat.
Now I can get down to some serious writing. Go downstairs and make a cup of tea first. Come back. Maybe my friends have woken up by now so check e-mails again. Check blogs. Come on now, Keith. Get to work. O.k. What shall I do today? Novel, short story or sitcom? Oops! What did Ruth say she wanted for tea? Lamb chops. Go downstairs and take chops out of freezer. Go into garden and pick some beans. Peel some potatoes and slice the beans. Back upstairs – tea has gone cold. Go and get a fresh cup. Now then. Where was I? Ah yes. Open up writing folder.
Was that the front door? Hard to tell from the back bedroom. Go and check. No. Just the neighbours slamming their car door. While I'm here, how are the chops doing? Ah, defrosting nicely. Back upstairs. Any e-mails yet? No. Anything interesting on the news? Go on Daily Mail website. They're usually good for getting me irate about immigration or MPs' expenses or something. See a headline about Katie Price and immediately realise where this is leading. Get off t'internet and open up Microsoft Word.
Getting a bit hungry now. Is it dinnertime yet? Go and make a sandwich. More tea. Ooh! I see the sun is shining now. Seems a shame to waste the opportunity. Never know when it might show itself again. I know – I'll go outside for half-an-hour and read. They say you should still keep up with your reading, even when you're writing, don't they? So this can be classed as work really, can't it? Ah, this is nice. I'll just close my eyes for a couple of minutes. Maybe a brilliant idea for a plotline will come to me. Zzzzzzz...
Good grief! Is that the time? Ruth will be back from work soon. Better get the tea on. I promise I'll start chapter fifty six tomorrow – after I've thought about what to write for next week's blog post.
It can be worse if there is a Test Match on. It can be even worse if Nottinghamshire are playing. If the Tour de France is taking place then forget it for the first three weeks in July.