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‘I see procrastination and research as part of my artistic process.’ Lynn Nottage.

I have today gifted myself the title of ‘Supreme Procrastinator Extraordinaire’.  It’s a heady achievement (even if I do say so myself) and one I have been working towards for quite some time.  I think it’s a title I fully deserve.  I’ve earned it.

As you may recall, back (way, way back) in April I decided I was going to take a bit of a break from writing this blog.  I needed a little rest to recharge my batteries.  ‘It’s all good,’ I told myself.  ‘I’ll take a month off and I’ll write a bit and I’ll sketch a bit andwho knows?maybe I’ll even manage to get ahead of myself!  I’ll make a plan and do some research and get some stories written and some sketches sketched and I’ll make my own little treasure trove that I can delve into whenever I am caught short (for want of a better phrase).  That way I won’t be constantly running around at the last minute, glassy-eyed and desperate, babbling to myself that I have nothing to offer when  ‘OMG! It’s time to upload my next post . . . ‘

‘Man plansGod laughs.’  Isn’t that how the saying goes?

April quickly became May . . . and, although I was very well aware I hadn’t actually written anything, I could console myself with the fact that I was still actively mulling over several ideas.  (Can one ‘actively’ mull, I wonder?) 

Anyway, quite unexpectedly (as I’m sure it’s never happened before) May rapidly became June.  I admit I got majorly sidetracked here (Nordic Noir is seriously addictive) and then, all of a sudden it was July and things got really frantic at work and I found I had no headspace for anything else (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and then . . . well, here we are . . . it’s August—and late August at that—and I am finally forced to take stock.

So how did my little blog hiatus work for me?  Am I fully rested, restored and my batteries now fully recharged?  Ask me again when I am finally rid of this nasty cough I recently picked up.

Do I have that nice little treasure trove of literary and artistic goodies I so carefully planned for and promised myself?  Not so as you would notice.

Do I at least have a list of ideas for posts and sketches for the coming months ahead?  Well, not a ‘list’ as such—possibly a couple of crumpled and torn post-it notes silently gathering dust in odd places around the house.

Have I written anything at all over the last 4 months.  A draft?  A paragraph?  A line?  Ummmmmm . . .    Sigh.

Okay, that’s it.  I surrender.  I concede.  I admit defeat.  As much as it vexes me to admit it, I obviously need a deadline . . . any deadline . . . in order to get anything (creatively at least) done in my life.

So consider this fair warning!  I am turning over a new leaf—starting today!  You will be pleased to hear (I hope!) that as of right now I am head-down-bum-up-neck-deep in the throes of researching and investigating the very best way to set myself an air-tight, water-tight, every-other-kind-of-tight, no-wiggle-room, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die deadline for my very next post!

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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‘To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.’ Thomas Edison.

Anyone who has been following any of my posts will know that, for the past couple of years, I have been assiduously divesting myself of a lot of extraneous ‘stuff’ I seem to have accumulated over the years. (Although, perhaps ‘assiduously’ is too strong a term—but I really like how that word just kind of rolls off the tongue . . . assssidduossssly  . . . )

patonbackAnyway . . . I have also spent a bit of time patting myself on the back about how good I have been.  I’ve rid myself of books and clothes and shoes and old bits of furniture, and, the most important part, I haven’t done what I thought I might do and replace it with all new stuff.  (Well, okay, I admit, I have bought some new stuff but not nearly as much as I could have.)  I figured I had this downsizing thing down pat.

And then last weekend I went looking for some blu-tackone of those things that you need once every five years or so and you just know you have some in the house somewhere but be damned if you know where to find it—and, after unsuccessfully searching through all my ‘arty’ drawers (which, by the way, are now are hugely pared down with all materials organised into lovely plastic see-through boxes—not in any way, shape or form a sketching procrastination tactic . . . ) I finally had an AHA moment.  I knew exactly where that pesky blu-tack would be.  How could I not have thought of that first?  The drawer in the kitchen.

Now, I know you know which drawer I am talking about.  I’ll bet you have one too. The junk drawer. The drawer of detritus. The drawer where all your odds (sometimes very odd) and ends go to die . . .

junkdrawerOMG!  I swear I open that drawer at least twice a day (obviously to toss things in rather than take things out) but I am not sure when the last time was that I actually looked at what was inside it.   And worse still, now that I was looking, it seems that items within that drawer (presumably deciding they needed more room to move about) had surreptitiously started to infiltrate several surrounding drawers as well. Sigh.

Why?  I mean—really—why?

Why is it I can manage to give away two hundred books and half the clothes in my wardrobe but I seem unable to stop myself from ‘saving’ such flotsam and jetsam . . .

four sets of broken scissors
(did I think I was going to get them mended?  Never going to happen.)

fridge magnets
(well—once upon a time they were fridge magnets.
The decorative fronts were still on them but they no longer had magnets attached.)

various pens and markers
(none of which seemed to be working)

sticky-tape
(now completely un-sticky because of the all junk-draw fuzz stuck to it)

safety pins and thumbtacks
(every single one lying face up and every single one stabbed me before I saw it)

a hammer (WTF?)

dozens of loose toothpicks
(because where else are you going to keep them?)

various over the counter headache, cold-and-flu, and hayfever tablets
(I have never, ever suffered from hayfever)

3 bottle openers and 2 corkscrews (ahem)

doggie poo bags (thankfully all pristine and unused),
along with several now-too-small dog-collars (so cute),
half eaten dog chews
(erk) and other doggie doodads.
Oh, also a little bottle of what was left of Mabel’s ear drops from the infection she had
—2 years ago

a number of rusty keys
(no idea what they do, or do not, open)

several tubes of superglue
(one which had divested itself off all its contents and will never be removed from the drawer,
or anything else it came into contact with, ever again)

a dozen or so buttons of varying shapes and sizes
(I couldn’t tell you the last time I sewed a button on anything,
but in spite of this I apparently can’t throw them away either . . . )

lightbulbAnd those are only some of the more identifiable items.  There were a couple of other things in there which (grimace) I am still not sure about.  Nor have I even looked through the other two drawers yet—that may be a chore for this weekend.  (Oh joy.)

It’s a shame Edison is not still around really.  He would have had a field day . . .

Oh, and P.S.—I still haven’t found the bloody blu-tack . . . 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘I’m a perfectionist with a procrastinator complex. Someday I’m going to be awesome.’ Anon.

29-1I have never considered myself to be a ‘perfectionist’.  At all.  Near enough was always good enough for me.  Or so I thought.

And I never really thought of myself as a ‘procrastinator’ either.  Sure I would put the occasional thing off until later—who doesn’t do that sometimes?  But not as a general rule.  Or so I thought.

But then last weekend I actually caught myself, on several occasions, deliberately putting off something I really wanted to do, by doing a whole host of other little jobs I didn’t want to do at all.  Weirdhuh?  I mean—who does that?   So I sat down and thought about it (like that wasn’t just another attempt to procrastinate even further) and could only come to the conclusion that I might be (shock horror)procrastinating perfectionist.

PerfectionismAccording to the dictionary, a perfectionist is ‘a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection‘.   Pffft.  Now that really doesn’t sound anything like me at all.  In fact, I would go as far to say that I am much more inclined to do things a little bit half-arsed than I am to be overly anal.  (Anyone who saw my lawn after I had finished mowing it would have to agree.  As long as it is ‘tidy’ I see no reason whatsoever to go around every single edge and border or pick up every errant leaf that has blown on to it.  Likewise with the housework.  I like to keep my house clean and tidy but with three dogs underfoot my home is never going to be pristine. As long as there aren’t tumbleweeds of dog hair floating down the hallways I can handle it.)

dinosaursThe same dictionary also states that a procrastinator ‘is a person who delays or puts things off—like work, chores, or other actions—that should be done in a timely manner.’  Well—okay—guilty—sometimes.  But it is not usually very long before I suck it up and get on with what needs to be done.  I prefer to get onerous chores done and dusted and out of the way.

And that’s when the penny dropped‘onerous chores’.  I have no issue with onerous chores (other than them being onerous, of course) because they don’t matter much to me.  Half-arsed is good enough.  The ‘perfectionist procrastinator’ in me only seems to kick in when something does matter to me.

So what brought on all this self-reflection?  What was I really wanting to do but avoiding with all my might? Sketching.  (I know, I know.  What’s the big deal right?  Sigh.)

Those of you who have read my earlier posts you will know that I have recently started drawing and sketching again. (Note the ‘again’ there.  Methinks I have had these issues before.)   But, truth be told, I have talked about sketching more than I have actually sketched.  Oh, I’ve done some.  I have.  But not nearly as much as I wanted to—or said I wanted to.  I enrolled in two online sketching courses and thoroughly enjoyed them.  I even participated in the on-line forums and uploaded some of my homework drawings, and got really nice feedback from the other students and from the tutors.  But I am still not sketching every day.  Sometimes I am not even sketching once a week.  And, the thing is—I really like sketching.

no inkSo what’s the problem?  Why am I still so anxious about getting the sketchbook out and putting pen to paper?  It seems pretty obvious doesn’t it?  And I’ve probably known the answer the whole time—I just didn’t want to admit it to myself.  I’m just afraid.  Afraid my sketches will be crap.  Afraid I’ll spoil my nice new pristine sketchbook.  And I don’t want my sketches to be crap.  And I definitely don’t want to spoil my nice new sketchbook.  So I look for reasons to not start at all.

happier dog(Dogs don’t have these issues, you know. Dogs don’t not dig a hole for fear it is not going to be the right shape or angle.  They don’t not play with that new toy in case they get teeth marks in it.  Although, on the procrastination side, I could name at least two little dogs who have gone to great lengths to delay going outside to use the bathroom because it was raining . . .  HA—see what I did there—classic diversionary statement.  It would be so easy to just veer off and talk about dogs now . . . )

So what am I going to do about this ‘first world’ problem of mine?

drama queenWell the first thing I am going to do is acknowledge that if this is really the only issue I have in life to be fretting over at the moment, I should be roundly ashamed of myself (and in truth, I am somewhat mortified to even acknowledge it out loud.)  Then I am going to go back over all my notes from my art classes and re-read the advice given on this very subject by nearly every one of the teachers (which I blithely skipped over because it ‘didn’t really apply to me’.)  And, finally, I am going to try really hard to just ‘get over myself’ and stop being such a drama queen about the whole thing.

feeling pressureSo, although I have already talked myself out of this twice already, and can already feel my resolve wavering again, I have decided to give myself a real push out of my comfort zone and have set myself a task of uploading a sketch to this blog once a week—just to see if I can do it.  (And let me say that at this stage I have NO idea what kind of sketch you might get—but if one day a quick scribble of a balled up piece of paper appears on this blog, you may at least have some idea of the sort of week I’ve had . . . )

I am going to have to push to ‘Publish’ button real quick now, before I change my mind again.  See you in a couple of days . . .


P.S.   Out of curiosity I took The Perfectionism Test and am pleased (I think) to let you know that I ‘possess a healthy level of perfectionism’.  (Mmmmm.  I wonder if the author of this test was the same person who wrote the ‘Personality Test’ in one of my earlier posts?)

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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