The Mundane Pain of Procrastination

This whole week I have been assidously not doing what I should be doing, which is focussing on my research proposal and planning a chapter outline.

After gym, after obnoxiously healthy breakfasts, I pitch up at cafe’s libraries and other carefully chosen work spots, and proceed not to work.  I cruise Facebook, wishing my friends had more interesting lives.  I scowl at other students, having the impudence to make a noise near me.  I go to the cafe at the top of the library, and spend a disporportianate amount of time constructing salad castles at the buffet, getting the most out of the 3,95 small salad bowl.  One day this week I found a book in memorium to all the jewish and Romanian children killed in the Netherlands in World War 2.  Page after page of names and streets, and a few photographs.  This discovery led me to the internet of course to find out more.  There were a few names from the street we live on, and surrounds.  Through the Jewish Digital Monument, I found out that the woman who had lived in our flat, Kitty, was engaged to a boy, Jacob, who lived 2 doors down.  They both died in the war.

This amount of not doing what I know I so desperately should be doing leaves in me a quiet despair.

In her book of meditations on writing The Right to Write, Julia Cameron says that

Writers procrastinate as part of a writing ritual. Most writers do not want to learn how rapidly and easily they could actually write and so they circle the desk a few thousand times like dogs looking for a comfortable spot to lie down. The idea that in order to write they simply need to start writing is not welcome news. Writers become addicted to procrastination.  It gives them something to do instead of writing: namely, they hate themselves.


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