I am under deadline, staring at a blank screen. I cannot find my writer’s voice thus I am frustrated, angry, and frightened.
There is only one option and it’s staring me in the face: I must procrastinate. It’s a terrible habit but it works for me. I wait till the very last minute and then write under great duress. It gets done because if you procrastinate, you must do it with panache! Here’s my modus operandi:
#1. Get up in the morning and prepare a healthy breakfast. Cold cereal and milk can be gulped — if you’re procrastinating, you must chop at least five different vegetables into tiny pieces and make an omelet. This should take about 45 minutes or longer if you also read the op-eds and obituaries.
#2. OM. I find the shower so relaxing. That is why I like to use several scrubs to exfoliate my skin. After washing my hair, I apply three different hair conditioners to ensure maximum hydration. Before leaving the shower, I take a clean washcloth and hand-dry the tiles. I congratulate myself: I have done everything possible to keep my hair looking sensational and avoid shower mold. Total shower and tile cleaning time: 40 minutes.
#3. Dry hair on a low, cool speed. The lower the speed, the longer it takes but so what? It’s much better for the hair. Total hair drying time: 20 minutes.
#4. Check the weather channel including the temperature of the water (not that I’m going bathing). The weather is critically important when selecting shoes. Total weather channel obsession and obeisance to shoe fetish: 15 minutes.
#5. Peruse the closet. Temperatures will be in the 90s so a simple tee-shirt and skirt make perfect sense. Remove tee-shirt from closet and decide to give it a little steaming. Fire up the steaming machine. Total closet perusing and steaming time: 30 minutes.
#7. Head to office, drop off laptop and immediately leave to get an espresso. Total espresso and schmoozing time: 25 minutes.
#8. Return to office and call a fellow writer to lament the state of publishing, writer’s block, best-selling schlock, and deadlines. Total whining time: 45 minutes.
#9. Stare at blank screen. Still stymied. Perhaps a little nap under a tree? Leave office. Total nap under a tree time: 22 minutes.
#10. Return to office. Stomach is growling. Lunch! Total lunch time: 30 minutes.
#11. Return to office. Stare at blank screen. Total waste of time: Too many minutes/hours to count.