blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, writing process

When baking isn’t Zen

but you still get to eat a cookie

home made oat and raisin cookies
actual cookies baked by me

I wrote a piece recently about overcoming writer’s block by immersing yourself in the Zen of simple things. In this case, baking cookies.

It was all there; soothing repetitive tasks, making something tangible, a dash of creativity in the ingredients (these are oat, mixed fruit and ginger cookies, in fact.)

I thought I had done a Good Thing.™

Then this dropped into my inbox from Austin Kleon. You know, the Steal like an Artist guy.

Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 12.51.54

Procrastibaking is a thing?

My world tilted. Was it possible that I had procrastinated without knowing — I had in fact procrastibaked?

No, no, say it ain’t so.

Okay, it might be so, sometimes, but I stand by my original article. And I learned something after the cookies (and my story) were baked.

  • creativity is a remix, combining existing elements in a new way
  • procrastination+baking = procrastibaking — love that word
  • inspiration is everywhere
  • productive procrastination still produces something worthwhile
  • whatever, I got to eat cookies and they were delicious

Now, go read his article and the book, which is fabulous. I’m off to make tea and raid the cookie jar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes

NaNot today

impala_MonikaP
MonikaP via pixabay

In my writing groups, it’s all about NaNo; daily word counts and writing yourself into a corner and plot holes you could drive a bus through. Maybe that’s the answer to the plot problem. Have the protagonist drive a bus through – never mind…

Things I’m doing instead of NaNoWriMo

  1. Wondering if I should have done NaNo, then reaffirming my decision to pass.
  2. Lunch with friends, bonding with one over the recent loss of her mother.
  3. Sitting at my desk, watching a pheasant walk across the lawn.
  4. Wondering why the pheasant is in my garden.
  5. Chatting with the delivery guy and comparing weekend plans (me: not much.)
  6. Writing a fragment of a poem.
  7. Making a new iTunes playlist, even though I find it hard to write to music with voices.
  8. Pouring away my third half-drunk cup of tea.
  9. Making fresh tea and deciding I do deserve a biscuit. (see point 6)
  10. Gathering the last few chillies from the garden before the frost gets them.
  11. Downloading another book to my Kindle. If not writing, should be reading, right?
  12. Looking at the TBR pile of actual books and sighing.
  13. Wondering again about NaNo.
  14. Concluding that I just don’t have time.
  15. More tea.
  16. Staring.

Where did the day go? Time to make dinner…