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Writing Tip from Peter Murphy

10 Ways to Avoid Writing

  From the July 2011 Murphy Writing Newsletter

Damn. I forgot my earplugs.It's summer! The flowers are blooming, the days are longer, but the mosquitoes have been snorting Red Bull, and depending on where you live, dust storms, fires or floods are trying to kill you. How can you concentrate on those neglected poems or the novel you abandoned last August? Better put off your writing for two or three more months. Here are a few suggestions to help you procrastinate.


  1.  Catch up on all the movies you missed during the year. If you see one or two a day, you just might finish before Blockbuster goes completely under.
  2.  Clean out the garage. If you don't have a garage, dig your great grandmother's silver tea service out of the attic and give it a good polishing.
  3.  Call a friend to make a lunch date (Or breakfast if you're a morning person) during your most productive writing time.
  4.  It's nice out. Take the dogs (Or the kids) for a long walk.
  5.  Check them for ticks (The dogs, not the kids, well...maybe) so they don't get sick, or worse, infect you with a horrible disease.
  6.  Learn something new. Nabokov was a self-taught butterfly expert whose hypothesis about the group known as Polyommatus Blues changed the way the professionals believe they evolved. Maybe you can make a substantial contribution to science or bread-making or yoga.
  7.  Go shopping. Summer sales. New clothes. Woohoo!
  8.  Have “the talk” with your spouse or partner, the talk you've been putting off, the talk that will upset you so much no matter how it turns out that you will not be able to concentrate on writing for the next month or two.
  9.  Read 5 or 6 “How to” books about writing.
  10.  Make a list like this one telling other people what to do rather than getting to work yourself. Ouch!
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2011 Murphy Writing Seminars, LLC  ●  May be reprinted for instructional use..

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