Procrastination

So how many of us wrimos and other creatives procrastinate? I’m betting a heck of a lot of us. When you’re not feeling particularly creative, or when you’re feeling a bit burnt out, or just lazy, what do you do?

I’m sure there are some people who play video games, and some who turn to another form of art (painting, drawing, music, poetry, pottery, etc.). Some are going to read, some might clean or cook/bake. Bet there are even some who volunteer as their form of procrastination (can you blame them? They get to play with puppies and kittens, or take kids to movies or swimming!) Y’know what… let’s add a poll in here…

I’m going to feel silly if like only 6 people vote 🙂

 

Anyway, I’ve been finding that I go through cycles in my procrastination. I’ll have periods where all I want to do is work on my creative endeavour (whatever that happens to be at the time). Followed usually by watching a lot of TV (this past summer I marathoned all 9 seasons of Supernatural) and/or by reading a lot (and then in August/September I read close to 30 books).

Sometimes I’ll work on a different creative project, but that’s rare. Usually the closest it comes is working on D&D stuff (either a new campaign for the group, or compiling what I call my Codex… a document of damn near every magic item every created for 3.5). Occasionally I’ll do some gaming, but I generally only do small spurts of game procrastination.

I only clean when I need to, or when I’m feeling creatively blocked (I find a tidy house makes me more creative -my dad describes it as needing the order so that I can create the chaos). While I love to bake, I usually only do that when I have an event that needs it. But when I bake I almost always bake way too freaking much. Like mountains more than I need. So I’m not allowed to bake just for the heck of it anymore 😦

As for volunteering… well, I don’t do it as a form of procrastination. Though I suppose it technically counts because it eats into my writing time. But I think for it to be ‘procrastination’ I would need to be volunteering with the purpose of doing something other than what I’m supposed to be doing. More often I find myself writing when I should be working on meeting plans for the little Spark/Brownie group I run.

My biggest and most consistent distraction/time sink/procrastination probably has to be doing research. I’ll be like “I want to set this story in 1495” and suddenly a week has gone by as I research the types of weapons, the major events of that period, the fashions, drinking songs, descriptions of cities during that period, common illnesses, superstitions, religions and ceremonies, and every other little thing that could possibly relate to it. I think I over research things, and then because I have so many facts muddled up in my brain, I probably still get half of the details wrong. >.<

I think that’s all… Well, I mean, I read a ton of webcomics every morning, and can pretty easily get distracted by interesting Cracked articles, but… it’s rare that that takes a whole day’s productivity away. And I’m sure there’s more that I just can’t recall right now.

Anyway… that’s enough procrastinating for today… Here’s my excerpt and see you in a couple days!

If she had been shown a picture of the moment she would have thought it was some sort of protest. The people shoved against the guards, their faces dark and angry, but no one made a noise. The silence was almost eerie and she quickly turned away from the crowd and hurried through the open door. Beyond it stairs spiralled up and up. Onan was already well ahead of her on the stairs. She paused and waited for Julian to join her inside the tower. As he stepped up to her, his little hand reached up for hers. She closed her fingers around his and gave a gentle squeeze.

Glancing up with wide, sad eyes, he said, “It’s three stories. Seneschal Onan wouldn’t have let a guard help you on a day like this, so it’s a good thing Lord Holliforth could heal you.”

Kaitlyn nodded a little and started up the stairs, following a step behind the little prince. By the time they reached the third landing she was sweating and tired. Neither man’s outfit looked much different from their everyday wear. Her gown, on the other hand, was significantly heavier. Add to that the fact that it had been about a week before she had done any real walking, and she was exhausted. Onan stood beside a closed door, impatiently fiddling with the cuffs of his sleeves. A drum like the ones she used to see in malls for sweepstakes draws stood beside the door. The stairs continued up into the tower and she could hear the ticking of gears drifting down to them.

When she and the young prince arrived he gave them a short nod before turning and pushing open the door. A balcony overlooked a wide courtyard below. The crowd of people rippled like a sea as they glanced up at the three people standing above them. Like she had thought during the ride, most of the people wore black or had at least added black to their outfits. Several splashes of white punctuated the crowd and she wondered why they chose to wear the opposite colour as those around them. Standing on the balcony, the chill air instantly cooled the sweat on her body, making her shiver. The wind that gusted past in quick bursts cut through her dress and she glared at Onan’s back. Surely she could have worn a cloak or something warmer.

Above them a bell rang out, resonating heavily across the city below. Eight times it rang out before falling silent. They waited as the echoes faded away, the crowd bellow seeming to hold its breath. Once silence had fallen over them once more, Onan stepped forward to the edge of the balcony. His face was heavy as he raised his voice. “Today, the second week of the month, we gather once more to draw the lottery.”

Kaitlyn frowned, a lottery didn’t sound like something somber. Lotteries were joyous and exciting, with a hint of a promise that you might be chosen. Not dark and depressing. The tower doors behind them opened and two soldiers carried the drum out onto the balcony. They set it down beside Onan and quickly withdrew back inside the tower. Their clothes, for all that they were black as well, looked much more sensible than what she, Prince Julian, and Onan were wearing so she had to suppose it meant that they didn’t want to see the crowd when the name was drawn.

With a sigh, Onan turned the wheel three times, making the drum spin. The rustling of paper filled the little balcony as the names inside the drum tumbled over one another. Once it stopped, he flipped open the little lid and closed his eyes, his face looking pinched. He reached his arm almost all the way in to the drum, swishing his hand through the slips of paper. After a moment he opened his eyes and withdrew a slip of paper. The white of it seemed surprisingly bright in the grey light. Slowly, he unfolded it and stared at the words written across it for several long moments. At long last he looked back out over the crowd. She could hear the sharp intake of breath as they waited for him to call the name.

“Variel Monge,” he read out, his voice ringing out across the unbelievably silent courtyard.

Almost immediately a heart wrenching cry split the air. The crowd rippled away from a point until Kaitlyn could see the distant form of a woman. She had dropped to the ground and appeared to be sobbing. Two small children were fighting as someone tried to drag them away. Faint shouts of “Mommy!” rose above the wailing and sympathetic murmuring of the crowd. For a moment, the crowd held like that, a tableau of grief and bereavement.

As always, if you like what you’re reading, check it out as I post the full chapters (admittedly not as frequently as I would like) over here. Favourite and follow, please 🙂

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