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All posts for the month February, 2013

To do list, shma do list

Published February 24, 2013 by julietstubborn

In an attempt to try and get more things done, I have taken to writing myself to do lists: one for the week and another for the weekend, however, rather than actually cutting down on the amount of things I have to do, as I thought and hoped it would, instead it turns out there are so many things in my life that are on-going that at least half of my to-do list each week is taken up by the exact same things as last week! Things such as searching job websites and housing websites – as I am supposed to be moving in with one of my friends, as soon as we find a place we can afford. This also means that even though I am doing everything on my to-do list each week, I still feel as if I am getting nowhere, because the next week I have to do exactly the same things!

At least some of it is my fault though, I admit. As the self-confessed Queen of Procrastination (I once spent 5 hours cleaning my house at uni, to avoid writing one 1500 word essay, which wasn’t even difficult.), writing down everything I have to do has made me realise what stuff I put off. For example, if I had a form I had to fill in and post, I might just write on my to-do list: “form” I know, that I need to fill it in, and I know which form I mean, so further instructions aren’t necessary, but once I have filled that form in, I will think to myself: “Well now, I’ve filled it in, it doesn’t need to be posted until next week, so I can cross it off.” Meaning it is still on my to-do list for the next week, though now I just have to make sure I post it, even though I could have done both things at once the week before.

However, admitting you have a problem with procrastination is the first step to recovery! Writing everything down that I have to do has made me realise that I usually only do a little bit of a thing, before I deem it as ‘complete’ for the day, I evidently only think of one part of a project at a time, even though I have no reason not to do the second part of anything, other than my own laziness. I think to-do lists are extremely helpful, just not when they end up being the same things to do every single week!

Writer’s Block: Dictionary stories

Published February 10, 2013 by julietstubborn

There are various methods I try if I am having trouble writing. One of them is procrastination, not really a method so much as a firm belief that if I spend all day clearing out the fridge, I’ll magically be able to write at the end of it. It hasn’t worked yet  I usually then decide to clear out the freezer too, because that’ll help.

However, some of my methods do sometimes actually work, one of these methods is ‘dictionary stories’. You don’t actually need a dictionary to write them – you just need three words, any three words. I started using a dictionary once I had exhausted the options I had around me in my room – there are only so many stories you can write involving the words “desk, lamp” and “chair”.

The point of a dictionary story – if you are using a dictionary – is to randomly choose three words, and use them to make up the plot of your story – it doesn’t need to be long, just long enuogh for you to actually be able to write something.

Closing your eyes and pointing at a word seems to work best for me, otherwise I tend to just start leafing through the dictionary for words I most like the sound of – thus more procrastination – Trying it just now gave me the three words: Kind-hearted, homesick and fisticuffs.

Then I try to incoperate these three words into the story, so as those three words are making me think of the hobbit film – I don’t know why – You could start by saying “The kind-hearted hobbit went on an adventure, where he got homesick and engaged in fisticuffs.”

Although of course, the story should be longer than a sentence, otherwise you’re just going to go and clear out the fridge again, once you’ve finished.