I've done plenty of research, made notes, and emailed the relevant press offices, friends and family for information, images and updates.
What I haven't done is really sit down and finish writing the necessary 800 words or 300 words or whatever it is that each piece needs. As my chief child-feature proofreader-in-residence Max pointed out this afternoon, "Umm, this is not a real sentence. And are you going to have a beginning to this paragraph at all, or are you just starting in the middle?" Max reads my kids' features to make sure the language and vocabulary are child friendly. Today he was just horrified that I felt I was ready for proofing.
The problem has been Procrastination. Freelancers know that when you've got work to do, you sit down and do it at the same time every day. 'Inspiration' tends to turn up when you're working, and once you get your mind in the habit of focusing on work at a certain time every day, magic happens.
I am so out of my routine that Inspiration has been chased out of town by Procrastination. I know that the only way to lure Inspiration back is with a hefty dose of Routine. Meanwhile, I have procrastinated myself into last-minute deadline panic.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”― Pablo Picasso
So whenever I sit down to write, I immediately think "Oh, I'll just put a load in the washing machine." You might think that putting on a load of laundry would be a quick and sensible multitasking gesture, but be warned. Once you're there, you will find that you may as well sort the entire basket, iron that one blouse, stitch on a button, hem school trousers, tie-dye six t-shirts... The article isn't due for ages, right? You'll get to it in a minute.
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well" - Mark TwainAnother great tactic I can suggest, if you have work that's not-immediately-but-soon due, is to drink gallons of water, tea and coffee. the ensuing trips to the loo will keep you away from your desk for extended periods of time. And every time you get up, there will be a new distraction beckoning! Have the plants been watered? Are those dead leaves that need picking off? Come on, it only takes a moment and that article isn't due for at least a week.
The most wonderful and effective method of not-writing, though, has to be playing find-the-glasses. Each and every time I get up, I take my glasses off and hide them in a different and top secret location. Then when I finally tell myself to get a grip and get back to work, I sit down at my desk and say, "Huh! Where could my glasses be?" A merry hunt ensues. Could they be in the laundry basket? Next to the kettle? By the loo? In the fridge? Oh look, leftover cake!!
“You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.Today two of my articles are DUE! Standing in the kitchen trying to decide whether I need another cup or coffee or another cup of tea, and finally deciding on a cup of soup, I also decided that what I REALLY need is a bread bin. But what kind? Must go online and google bread bin inspiration, I told myself. That was when I realised that I had taken procrastination to a whole new and never-before-seen level of awesomeness. So I gave myself a good talking to, and settled back down at my desk.
What mood is that?
― Bill Watterson
And wrote a blog about it.