As part of an ongoing struggle against procrastination and a blind spot with book plotting, I’ve implemented one change to my internet habits and one to my plotting plans, using new technology for one and very basic practical adaptation for the other.
1. I waste far too much of my time, every day, on the least productive activity imaginable: reblogging things on Tumblr.com. I have lots of other procrastination activities: making jewellery, making clothing, tidying things, reading books which aren’t for research, watching documentaries about the Saxons, watching documentaries about the physics of bubbles, listening to The Bugle, listening to old episodes of The News Quiz, embroidering foul-mouthed samplers onto an old lab coat, doodling, trying to think up ways to make a jacket that can be transformed into a tent, aimless wandering around London, pointless conversations with my partner about the origin of a specific word, visiting friends, mending clothes, scouring charity shops for a better bowl for my pet moss balls, reading sundry articles all over the internet about Google making an island disappear, or progress in 3-D printing, and sometimes I go through three hundred and eighty-four pages of listings for “fabric” on Amazon to see if there’s anything I want but hadn’t thought of the right search term for. All of these seem more useful than watching people break up the soothing flow of kittens and photos of their lunch with unnecessarily bitter fights about whether Supernatural is misogynist as a show, whether all people of [insert group here] should kill themselves, and competitive passive-aggression enhanced with inexplicable Japanese emoticons.
In order to limit my procrastination to actually useful behaviour, or at least behaviour that doesn’t result in me swearing violently at my laptop, I installed a Chrome extension called Block Site from wips.com. The idea is very simple: you put in a url, a domain or subdomain, or simple an individual page, and choose an optional redirect url. Thus I chose the dashboard of Tumblr, which allows me to still access individual tumblrs full of pretty pictures, or links that I have saved containing tutorials, and to go to my Tumblr inbox if necessary – but not to access my dashboard and get a full stream of irritation.
Instead, I’ll end up at Write or Die, which should remind me of what I am meant to be doing.
2. I need to sort out a timeline for this novel. I don’t seem to get on with any timelining software that I can find for free, and don’t enjoy sideways scrolling much anyway. An ordinary size notebook of the sort I use for taking notes when I’m not glued to my laptop will not suffice.
But I do have a roll of wrapping paper down the back of the bookshelf, and it is plain on the obverse. TIME LINE IS GO.