Bunking Off Writing

I’m always looking for that life-changing piece of writing advice, the one that fixes everything and makes you a best-selling author. I’m constantly reading magazine articles about what my favourite authors have for breakfast, or where they go to write, or how many sips of tea they have before they start writing, etc. I suppose I hope that if I can reenact their routine then my writing will magically be as good as theirs. No amount of bran flakes or sips of tea has worked yet…

Once in a while I find a piece of advice that really strikes a chord with me. It might not make me finish my book and be a best-seller but it’ll keep me going for a few days. This was the quote that did it for me recently:

“Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it’s a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It’s only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I always have to feel that I’m bunking off from something.” – Geoff Dyer

I’ve always felt that if I started working on other projects then I’d never finish my book. However, I took dear Geoff’s advice and reopened a few old projects. Now, instead of feeling like that big essay in High-school is due, I feel like I’m working on one of my many important projects as a busy author. (There’s no harm in playing pretend, especially when you’re writing fiction.) When I get bored of one I move to another, then when that dwindles I pop by some poetry, have a blast at a blog or swing past a script. Before I know it I’ve been writing for an hour or two. Who knew skiving could be so productive!?

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