Thursday, 13 August 2009

The 'S' Word


I make lists. I’m a list maker. I do it to organise what is sometimes a hectic life, but I’ve also been known to do it to make myself seem busy when things are in fact quite quiet. On a quiet day or days when I’m trying to avoid something important, I tend to scribble things down on The List as I’m doing them, then cross them out straight away. An immediate sense of achievement – happy days!





Today, at 8:30 am, The List began as follows:

1. Change bed.
2. Put wash on
3. Ironing pile
4. Write synopsis
5. Drop West Wing off to Fiona (The DVD not the building)
6. Make healthy breakfast muffin thingys
7. Bring bottles to recycling (without getting arrested)

Did you spot it? Lurking there in the middle…..the only thing that I really have to do today?

I am in ‘S’ Word Denial. I know what I have to do but there’s a part of me resisting. In fact, when I read Susannah’s post of yesterday, the fear she described when jumping out of an aeroplane mirrors the knot of anxiety currently munching my solar plexus. I would rather go to the dentist, learn how to jog, be hung upside down from The Tower’s rafters by my toenails, explore the antartic in a tee shirt. You get the gist.

I know it has to be done. I’d just rather it didn’t.
I know what has to be done. I’d just rather I didn’t.
I know I can do it. I just wish I’d get on with it and stop faffing about thinking about it.

It’s now 10:42 and I’ve amended The List from this morning.

1. Change bed
2. Have shower and get dressed
3. Eat breakfast and clear it up
4. Put dishwasher on
5. Add dishwashing powder to Sainsburys list(The Other List)
6. Spot clean kitchen floor
7. Put wash on
8. Ironing pile
9. Write synopsis
10. Drop West Wing off to Fiona (The DVD not the building)
11. Make healthy breakfast muffin thingys
12. Bring bottles to recycling (without getting arrested)

Quite a productive morning! I’ve been a busy bee and frankly, I’m exhausted. And I’m just off to do the recycling and drop the West Wing off. When I get back it’ll be time for lunch so I will amend the list again accordingly.

1. Change bed
2. Have shower and get dressed
3. Eat breakfast and clear it up
4. Put dishwasher on
5. Add dishwashing powder to Sainsburys list(The Other List)
6. Spot clean kitchen floor
7. Put wash on
8. Ironing pile
9. Write synopsis
10. Drop West Wing off to Fiona (The DVD not the building)
11. Make healthy breakfast muffin thingys
12. Bring bottles to recycling (without getting arrested)
13. Make and eat healthy lunch

Okay then....... Anyone for muffins?

15 comments:

Julie P said...

It's so easy to skirt around the issue isn't it! To do everything else, and find that more interesting, that sitting down and writing that important 's' (I won't say the word.)

Maybe you can fool your brain by chanting 'I'm not going to write my 's', honest.' And then start typing before your brain realises what you're doing! An ambush.

Julie xx

Geraldine Ryan said...

I loved this, F.! I don't make lists but I do blow up small inconsequential tasks into things-which-must-be-done before anything else and I know I'm just kidding myself.


In bed writing this and will not got out until I have written 1000 words of my Christmas story! So am getting off the Internet right now. (Look for me on WriteWords and I expect I'll be there putting my twopennorth in!)

Roderic Vincent said...

Nice one, F.

You left off: 14. Write post for SW, showering mirth on colleagues and all.
That can be ruled through, too.
And the great thing about the S is that it can reappear on the list for months even after you've written it. I've already written mine six times and could still rewrite it to advantage.

Now I can tick off: Comment on manic's blog post. Ah, the achievement.

Gillian McDade said...

My list is so uninteresting compared to many others....
1. Go to work
2. Eat quick lunch
3. Come home from work
4. Try and find a few mins to continue on with WIP.
5. Feed cat
6. Go to bed....

*sighs*

CarolineG said...

Hee hee, I share your horror! They are the very work of the devil those things. My suggestion is to start writing it when you REALLY don;t have time and somehow, magically, it will become annoying that you can't finish it. I appreciate this is a bizarre approach, but sometimes works for me!

sarah fox said...

I'm in synopsis hell too. It's SO HARD! Why?

WW synopsis and outline is really useful, Fi for a spot of no holds barred but very constructive advice - and meanwhile you can get on with those muffins.

Sarah

Poppy said...

Hee hee!

emmadarwin said...

Oh, I've been there. Including putting things on the new list which I've actually just done. Well, a sense of achievement never did one any harm.

You could list:

1) Write one-sentence synopsis
2-9) Domestic crap (aka agony-saver) during which, without meaning to, you'll be thinking about it
10) Write one-paragraph synopsis
11-19) More domestic crap, ditto
20) Write one-page synopsis - it'll be a doddle by now; you won't know what to do with all those words!

Good luck!

Fionnuala Kearney said...

LOL Emma, think I'll give that a try!

It does seem bizarrea doesn't it Sarah that we can write and re-write a novel of almost 100000 words yet the thought of a synopsis?

Thanks all for your comments which made me smile. Off to open that word doc and stare at it again.

Susannah Rickards said...

How did 'spot clean the kitchen floor' sneak in there?

How about:
1.) Write incoherent 8 000 word synopsis.
2.) Post it on WW
3.) Sit and wait to see what magic Naomi wields...

Great, recognisable (bar the housework) post!
S

Fionnuala Kearney said...

Susannah,
I've seen Naomi wave her magic synopsis wand before and I hope to get her to have a look at it....when I've finished it! Meanwhile there's that kitchen floor calling out to me?

Gillian McDade said...

Naomi is the god of synopses!

Rebecca Connell said...

Yes, I know this trick too. I had an empty house yesterday evening and my mental list read: 1) Cook and eat pizza, 2) check email, 3) watch Big Brother, 4) do some writing. Ahem. Well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

Deborah Riccio said...

I'm with the WW-Naomi thing - she's an absolute miracle worker. Have you tried shutting your eyes and just going for it, Fi?
(Nar, that's not gonna work either!)

Lydia said...

LOL. Completely identify with this one: I too make lists on which I can already cross off the first 2 items, making me feel incredibly virtous! Sometimes it's anything to create a reason not to write. What's the matter with us, we're writers aren't we... and writers love to write. Don't we???