Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Best Laid Plans

Last Summer, in a flurry of anticipation, I built a shed in the back yard; my dream of a self-contained office. There is a wall of shelves exactly the right height for box files and two desks and some drawers and everything I need to write... but in the winter, it's too cold and in the summer, on a day like today, it's like an oven.

Worse, the fact that the computer is here, lording it over the space, makes procrastination far too easy. Emails, Facebook, Linked In, this blog... there are just too many excuses to write and read material unrelated to work. (And to convince yourself it is research/ networking/ keeping up-to-date!)

Fortunately, Pettigrew took the problem to heart. (He's the snail my daughter forced me to adopt. He has attitude and a purple/ pink shell, but squishily believes he should have a red bouffant and a cigar on a holder, if not a PA who makes him coffee with frothy milk.)

My problems are his, he says; if I'm not writing, I'm far more likely to squish him. (He's right.)

So he came up with a solution: "don't turn on the computer until you have written your quota of words or scenes for the morning/ day".

It's good advice. Excellent advice and it worked for a week. Until my new phone arrived - touch screen, so many apps to discover and play with, and it tells me when I have emails.

"Turn it to silent," says Pettigrew, quick as you like - well, it took him about five days 'cos it's hard work leaving a legible slime trail on a computer desk. Which was just enough time for me and my new phone to become inseparable; I've named it George.

But when a snail called Pettigrew 'speaks', you have to take heed and I am dutifully putting my phone on silent each morning until I have my labours complete.

I'll let you know if it works.

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