(An Incomprehensive List of) 26 Things I Do Instead of Writing by Dylan Fisher

posted Feb 15, 2018, 12:53 PM by Writing Center

1.    Organize my bookshelf. (By author’s last name, alphabetically.)

2.    Watch (EVERY EPIDSODE of) the new season of Stranger Things on Netflix. (I know it’s not new anymore. I’m just very, very behind.)

3.    Check my personal email.

4.    Check my work/school email.

5.    Scroll through Twitter.

6.    Scroll through Facebook.

7.    Draft an email (maybe two) to edit and send later.

8.    Tell myself: Dylan, it’s time to write.

9.    Make dinner. It’s a frozen pizza!

10. Make a list of all the things I’d rather do than write. (Do, ultimately, none of them.)

11. Re-organize my bookshelf. (By the color of the bindings, by genre.)

12. Pull out a book. Read a few pages. Put it back.

13. Brush my teeth. Cut my nails. Take a shower.

14. Phone friends, progressively more distant and less familiar, until someone picks up. (“Aren’t you glad to hear from me,” I say.)

15. Browse possible (funny, sad, exciting) memes to use in future a Facebook message.

16. Close all the open tabs on my internet browser.

17. Tell myself: Dylan, really, it’s time to write.

18. Open a blank Word document.

19. Open new tabs on my internet browser.

20. Read an essay about the (notably negative) impacts of Spotify.

21. Listen to Spotify.

22. Read an essay about the (notably negative) impacts of Facebook.

23. Check Facebook. Again. Again. Again.

24. Walk (twice) around the block. (I just need to stretch your legs.)

25. Make a pot of coffee. (It’s starting to get late!)

26. Drink a cup, maybe two.

27. Realize that, yes, I am procrastinating and (consciously or unconsciously) avoiding the task of writing. Realize that I am looking for distractions. Realize that I am not the only one to feel the weight of an assignment, of a deadline. (This procrastination, I think, is an effort to redistribute this weight toward something bearable.) Realize that these other activities do not have to be separate from the writing process but rather can fuel it. (There is research, in fact, that suggests that allowing our minds to wander from the task at hand can help us find creative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.) Realize that creation occurs in the moments we least expect it, when we do not force it. Realize that for this, ultimately, to occur I need to sit down, need to put words (any words!) onto the page. Realize, too, that by starting early, by establishing a practice of daily writing, this will get easier. Realize there are many (often free) internet blocking programs that can help prevent technological distractions. Realize that writing is often hard. Realize that it is also often rewarding.