On Procrastinating (and the Cheese-Eating Man is back)

31 Jan

I have a confession to make: I have been doing some serious procrastinating. As any writer knows, this isn’t a massive revelation. Every day involves at least a little bit of procrastinating… (Or it does in my world!)

I’ve been procrastinating with the next edit of my novel. You may recall I said last week I would be starting the edit on paper this week. Well I’m about to now… probably. Here’s the “before” shot:

Before the red pen is unleashed...

Before the red pen is unleashed…

I’ll show you the “after” when it’s done. I think I’ve subconsciously been procrastinating because the next step is to send my WIP off to a professional editor, and the thought of that TERRIFIES me. Still, I know it has to happen, so at some point I’ll man up. In the meantime, though, I’m scared.

Moving swiftly on… Yesterday I spent all day working in the library. At one point, there was a man sitting at one of the tables with a sketchbook, a tiny set of paints and the obligatory jam jar of water to wash his brush. He was very tidily painting something across the library from him. He wasn’t there very long at all.

But remember last week I told you about the man with the block of cheese? Well guess what? Yup, he was back. This time, he had a pint of semi-skimmed milk (still in its plastic bottle, straight from the supermarket) and three electrical appliances, including an electric shaver!

I think he was charging them up using the sockets by the table he was sat at (cheeky?!). He was casually sitting there for most of the afternoon, reading a book and occasionally swigging milk from the bottle. I can’t decide if this would be taking the whole “giving characters quirks” thing a bit too far, though!

You know I’m going to have to go back again next week to see if he’s back… But do all libraries have eccentric characters like this, or is it just the one in Swansea?!

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14 Responses to “On Procrastinating (and the Cheese-Eating Man is back)”

  1. Victoria-writes January 31, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Good luck editing! That man sounds hilarious, you’ll have to put him in a book one day :)

    • Stacey Mitchell February 1, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you :-) I’m definitely storing this all away for future use!

  2. Christina James January 31, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    He’s procrastinating, too. He’s using the library resources (!) as an excuse to avoid getting on with the job of getting a job. My husband recommends the crunchy cheddar, by the way; I have examined the opened slab for clues as to how he eats it; no teeth marks as yet… You strike me as someone who will edit effectively, so don’t worry about the professional view! Why are you reading this? Are you procrastinating again? Sigh…

    • Stacey Mitchell February 1, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Ah, so perhaps your husband is going for the more conventional method of eating cheese — cutting slices or chunks off?

      Thank you for your kind words about editing. I’m going to do it now, promise!

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh January 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Wonder if the guy is homeless?
    Don’t fear the editor. It’s not that bad. Really!

    • Stacey Mitchell February 1, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      I think he just goes to the library for the social aspect (and the electricity). The amount of people he saw there that he knew was amazing…

      As for the editor, I need to stop looking at it like I’m submitting an assignment to a teacher! :-/

  4. Anita Chapman (@neetswriter) January 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Procrastination-what’s that?! Good luck with your edits Stacey. Your local library sounds much more interesting than mine…

    • Stacey Mitchell February 1, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Haha, thanks Anita! Interesting and distracting…

  5. Joe Owens January 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Editing is admitting we don’t have something right. Anyone who embraces that task should have their head examined. Yes eccentric ones are everywhere we just don’t always notice.

    • Stacey Mitchell February 1, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      You’re spot on, Joe — what you’ve just said makes so much sense. So I guess it’s fine (normal?) not to feel good about editing, but I just need to get on and do it!

  6. Elle Turner January 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I’m nervous too when I send my book away to the NWS for critique and when I get it back I read the report through my fingers (similar to how I watch Casualty or ER when a gory bit is coming up). It’s worth it though and it’s a positive step towards the end result.
    I am definitely going to spend more time in the library…

    • Stacey Mitchell February 1, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      Thanks Elle :-) We want to improve our writing, otherwise why would we do it? But the anticipation is the worst thing, I think. We always fear the worst and realistically know we’re not going to be spot on, but it still hurts to hear where we could improve.

  7. Rebecca Bradley February 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    One of the things I’ve been really glad to learn as a fairly new writer, is that procrastination is part of the job description! I hope those edits are coming on well.

    • Stacey Mitchell February 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Sometimes I like to pretend procrastination is “thinking time”. No one else knows what’s happening in my head, so why not? Thanks for your comment Rebecca! :-)

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