The joy of procrastination

Posted by Paul Samael on Monday, May 13, 2013 Under: Writing fiction

As I have no contact details for Martha Deighton, who’s recently penned a quite lengthy review of my novel on Smashwords, I’m going to say “thanks” here.   Actually, “thanks” feels a bit inadequate really because she has clearly put a lot of time and careful thought into her review – and although I never expected my novel to have broad appeal, it’s great to know that it worked for her.  She has also picked up on all sorts of things which I hoped readers would "get", but you never know for sure until someone is kind enough to write a review like this one.

I was interested that she focused (as I hoped people would) on the tendency of the central character to over-analyse things - with the result that he repeatedly fails to act at points where action would be far better than mere words/thoughts.  There is something of an autobiographical element to all that, since I procrastinated to a similarly epic degree over what to do with my novel.  This led to long periods during which it languished at the bottom of my underpants drawer, followed by equally long periods spent trying (at my usual painfully glacial pace) to get it into publishable shape.

Towards the end, it became more and more obvious that all this procrastination wasn’t getting me anywhere – and that I really needed to just finish the damn thing. So in an odd sort of way, I suspect that experience has fed into the novel.  But as a writing strategy, I can't say that procrastination has a great deal to recommend it.  More importantly, putting a stop to it has freed up no end of space in my underpants drawer….

PS re-reading this, it occurs to me that I should make it clear - to anyone who has actually read the aforementioned review - that my underpants drawer does not contain large numbers of sumo-wrestler-style loin cloths.  If you're not sure what on earth I'm going on about here, you'll need to consider whether further autobiographical parallels might be drawn based on what Martha's review has to say about the central character's narcissistic tendencies (I'm prepared to own up to a degree of narcissism - I think anyone who's presumptuous enough to publish a novel probably has that up to a point - but hopefully not to quite the same extent as my central character....). 

In : Writing fiction 


Tags: reviews  procrastination 
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About Me


Paul Samael Welcome to my blog, "Publishing Waste" which will either (a) chronicle my heroic efforts to self-publish my own fiction; or (b) demonstrate beyond a scintilla of doubt the utter futility of (a). And along the way, I will also be doing some reviews of other people's books and occasionally blogging about other stuff.
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