How not to do things

I feel I could write a book about how to put off doing things. Except that of course I would keep putting off writing the book in the first place.

This weekend I will be putting off some or all of the following: going to Tesco’s; hacking through the garden jungle; cleaning the house from top to bottom; finding someone to repair the oven; finding someone to repair the garden gate; writing a set of articles about historical research; doing some historical research at the Central Library – I have successfully put this off for some time as the Scottish Library there has been closed, but now I’ve discovered it has re-opened so there is no excuse not to go; taking my current novel to pieces and re-assembling it; working out why the first few paragraphs of the novella I should already have edited by now are wrong, and what to do about it; printing out a copy of the script for Act 1 of our Fringe show…


Of course, being an experienced procrastinator I can easily do some of these things as a way of putting off doing others. It’s just a question of which of them have to be done right away and which can be left for another few weeks, months or decades. Or to put it another way, which of them I actually want to do at all. I’ve already started the weekend on the right foot by spending two hours sorting out photographs and putting them on flickr. See my ‘Trains…’ blog link to right or Twitter feed to left for link to these. Here’s a little taste.

Helsinki old market hall

Helsinki old market hall

I don’t know why I’m even bothering to think about this, because I know from previous experience that I will drag myself along to Tesco’s today because the cats are about to run out of food, and then I will spend the rest of the weekend taking the novel to pieces, and then next week panicking because I haven’t written the set of articles yet and I am worried that the next-door neighbour will come round and nag at me about the garden. To be honest, it has now reached a state where I think the cat may have hidden his prey somewhere but I can’t see it, and my son put a waste-bin outside (don’t ask) one day while I was away and it disappeared altogether.


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