Some people have commented that they are amazed at how much work I get done despite being constantly plugged in. I watch movies while I paint, I flick between editing, Facebook, writing, YouTube, book formatting, digital jigsaw puzzles (my guilty pleasure, I’m not ashamed) and a plethora of timewasting online goodies, while I should be doing anything but that.
Some say I need to switch off, be internet-free for a few days, work without Facebook Messenger pinging in the background while I work, but for me I need that distraction. I need a quick interruption sometimes when editing to re-buffer my brain, clear it out so that words I know are spelled correctly don’t start looking wrong. When I write I need bursts of YouTube, of music, of colour, newsfeeds and Instagram to reinvigorate my mind. When I paint, listening to the droning of horror stories being read from Reddit keeps my mind flowing. I also have tinnitus and an overactive brain so too much silence and monotony drive me just a tad bonkers.
But sometimes, it is just procrastination, and that’s okay. Because I don’t plan any of my writing – I’m a pantser through and through – if the characters aren’t talking to me and I finally have time to write between editing jobs (a rarity at the moment), sometimes I need that distraction for more than invigoration. Sometimes it’s a space filler and hell, if I’m honest, it’s an excuse, at least to myself. It’s the theme tune to my writer’s block.
But for me there is no point in forcing it. I know if I force myself to write it will be subpar work. So, I go back to my routine of painting and movies, designing book covers and conspiracy theory videos, and soon, that procrastination becomes creativity. That creativity becomes my muse. My characters wake up and finally get themselves out of that locked room, or the forest they’ve been wandering in for five months (I’m looking at you Everdark Realms part 3), or sometimes some new character will raise their little hand from behind all of the mess and jumble in my brain and say ‘Hey, over here! Have I got a story for you!’
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is sometimes it’s okay to procrastinate, to fill that time with bursts of other things, distractions, other creations or even just sit back and binge a series on Netflix. It’s okay if you need noise and distraction to create. It’s okay to be connected and online 24/7 if that works for you. And if it doesn’t, that’s cool too. In the end method is as method does – do what works for you.
Sabrina is the author of Blank and the Everdark Realms Trilogy and is the director, editor and designer for Ouroborus Book Services
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