They say that writers have the best decorated houses. The reason being is that they'd sooner do anything else than write.
What we're talking about here of course is avoidance tactics. We all do it, but creative people are the masters of such, and I am no exception. In my defence however, I would say that being creative is not something that I can just switch on and off at will. Very few can. I've read many a "how to" book over the years that you should start work at 9am and write. Anything. But just write. And finish at a normal 5pm.
I don't know a single writer or artist who does this. So, inspired by one such article in a newspaper recently, I thought I'd share a typical day of mine with you, which usually will involve some sort of writing or film editing.
I set my alarm the night before for 7.30am, knowing full well that I'll switch it on to snooze the moment it buzzes. My theory is that the longer I lie there in bed the more guilty I'll feel. It works, to a degree.
9am: Having dragged myself from my cocoon of warmth, I shuffle through to the kitchen and make a cup of tea and some porridge. The mail drops through the letterbox and provides the first distraction of the day.
9.30am: I look at my list of things to do for the day. I love lists. I then add "open mail" and cross it off just to feel that I've actually achieved something.
10am: Check email. Answer emails. Check Facebook.
11am: Look at list again. Find the easiest thing that will take the shortest amount of time to do, carefully avoiding the item to be edited. Shift one or two items back to tomorrow.
12noon: Open project on edit suite. Check list again.
12.30pm: Time for lunch.
1.30pm: Check list again. Look at edit suite. Phone a friend and meet for coffee and cake.
3pm: Tidy kitchen and do dishes from night before. Look at TV schedules and highlight evenings viewing.
3.30pm: Sit in front of computer and stare at screen.
3.35pm: Make afternoon cup of tea.
3.45pm: Start editing.
And that can be me until midnight or even later. Once I'm going there's no stopping me, missing dinner and any of those programmes I highlighted for viewing.
So why not just do away with all this procrastination and cut to the chase at 9am? Or stop kidding myself with my avoidance tactics and resign myself to the fact that I'm not going to do any work until late afternoon?
Well, the simple answer is that almost everything leading up to starting the edit is warming up my creative juices. In the background I'm thinking about the scene. Reading the mail, online news or chatting to a friend over coffee can all add to my inspiration. All in all I probably have one of the longest working days of most people, albeit at my own pace, doing something I love. My past work and achievements are testament to my hard work ethic.
At the end of the day as long as I get guilt in there I know I've had a busy, creative day.