Blabberblog

Do you wake at night in a cold sweat, wondering what on earth your next post will be about?

Do you suffer from the anxiety that donks all creative content producers on the head at some time or other – the worry that you can’t come up with new material?

Do you ever suspect that you have reached that dreaded stage in your creativity that pop band Regurgitator wrote a song about, ie, where your old stuff was so much better than your new stuff?

Are there strands of your hair everywhere around the house?

Well, new Blabberblog will solve all your problems. (except maybe the hair.) Just purchase one bottle of our easy-to-swallow capsules. Take 2 capsules before bed, swallow with water and rub the rest of them all over the soles of your feet. Off you go to dreamland, and when you wake in the morning, why, not only will your tongue taste like blueberries, and your feet look slightly furry* but your blog will have written itself!

Blabberblog - available in a range of sizes and colors so that you can match it to your lounge room decor.

Blabberblog – available in a range of sizes and colors so that you can match it to your lounge room decor.

 

Pic: Wikimedia Commons

When you start using Blabberblog, there will be no need for you to do any of the hard work required to keep your blog filled with interesting, entertaining content ever again!

Think??? No need. Form an idea into a coherent paragraph?? Meh – that stuff is for suckers. Who needs to – um….strawberries?…..sorry, I lost my train of thought.

Simply use Blabberblog at night, and in the morning your blog will be populated with a new post, apparently written by you. Posts are 100% guaranteed to be witty, erudite** and even at times downright delicious. If not satisfied, call the customer service number on the pack and we will refund you money in full.

Clinical trials using Blabberblog, delivered results that surpassed our expectations. The trial group, using Blabberblog, had new posts on their blogs every morning. 100% of these posts were well informed, articulate and entertaining, covering exciting topics ranging from the mating habits of deadly tropical fish to the latest developments in relationship counselling for cannibals.

The group taking a placebo averaged a new post only every week or so, and their posts were lacklustre and definitely of an inferior quality. Comments from our reviewers included the following: Humour felt forced, topics were poorly researched, and there was a severe lack of editing: sentences sometimes trailed off and grammar and punctuation were at times almost (non,?

Topics were generally mundane, ranging from a post about boiled eggs, to instructions on how to use a yoga mat. I mean, really!

In short, you can count on Blabberblog to:

Increase the amount of exciting content on your blog

Reduce dull, lifeless posts

Promote hair regrowth

Suitable for all operating systems***

All natural formulation****

Available in convenient capsule form

Comes in a range of colors and sizes to coordinate with all interior decoration options

Designed in Australia and manufactured somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere*****

Blabberblog – available now at all good newsagencies, or where you see this sign.

399px-SIGN

Pic: Wikimedia Commons

*Side effects can also include headaches, nausea, and gangrenous feet that may require amputation.

**I had to look up the meaning of erudite.

***Except operating systems with a malfunctioning heart, liver or white blood cell count.

****Natural ingredients were the inspiration for the synthetic chemicals that make up the final product.

*****Somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere known as “offshore”. At “Offshore”, the wages and conditions are equal to or less than slave labour and therefore they have a burgeoning manufacturing industry, unlike Australia, where least 3 major manufacturing industries have announced their closure in the past month, because our strong dollar, decent wages & conditions and current government’s ideology mean that the poor widdle shareholders of those companies may not make a billion dollars profit unless those businesses are moved “offshore”. 

Advertisements

Under Pressure

Dear Readers, (real and imagined),

Here I sit, contemplating what to write for my next post, in the unusual circumstance of having had a recent post Freshly Pressed. And as with most things in life, (especially if your star sign is Libra), I find myself noting that there are both good and bad things about that experience.

To summarise:

Good things about being Freshly Pressed:

  • It gets out all the wrinkles and makes for a smoother, silkier blog. If wrinkles are stubborn, use the Cotton setting and a liberal sprinkle of water.
  • It introduces new people, who are, for the most part, also real people, to my blog
  • Some of those people “like”, some comment, and some even follow my blog.
  • Replying to comments keeps me busy for at least a week,  thus helping Febfast to fly by with plenty of distraction.
  • Some comments are very funny. You guys kill me!
  • What with comments to reply to, and blog stats to feverishly and repeatedly check every few hours, at the height of all the excitement, I feel downright popular!

Of course, after about 7 days, the stats gradually die down again and become just a quiet shuffle of views, no doubt mostly accidental, from readers who were actually looking for instructions on how to use their yoga mats, information on why Air Supply cried, or breaking news about Nigella Lawson’s ears. You heard it here first. (No pun intended.)

A pic of my blog, right near a pic of Joachim Phoenix.

Here’s a pic of my blog, right near a pic of Joachim Phoenix.

Bad things about being Freshly Pressed:

Um…well there are not many bad things about being Freshly Pressed really, in fact there is probably only really one. That is:

  • the crippling anxiety that it induces in the Freshly Pressed blogger, as she contemplates writing her next post after being Freshly Pressed.

It’s like second novel syndrome (or so I imagine, never having written or published a first novel). The stress is so immense that keeps me awake at night. Alright, not exactly awake, but I’m tipping it’s responsible for the annoying dream I had last night where I was back at high school and my purse had been stolen.

In many ways it’s quite different to writing a second novel of course. Firstly, and significantly, there is the word count. A novel may be anything from about 30,000 words and upwards (opinions seem to vary), whereas the average blog post is probably about 800 words. My own posts tend to land somewhere between those two figures, but usually closer to the 800 mark than the 30 000. (When commenting on other’s blogs, I definitely try to keep my comments to under 1000 words.)

Secondly, there is the coffee intake required to write a novel. I once tried to give up coffee, and lasted 3 years, but now I drink it on a sort-of-one-cup-every-second-day or thereabouts schedule, which clearly means I could not write a novel without making some serious lifestyle adjustments.

I only have a cup every second day because it's such a hassle having it brought in to work on a trailer

I only have a cup every second day because it’s such a hassle having it brought in to work on a trailer.

Pic: Sign Effectz, Inc

Thirdly,  a novelist contemplating her second novel has the huge pressure of worrying about what the editor will think, whether the publishers will go for it, and how it will live up to the first novel once it’s published and the eagerly awaiting public make comparisons. In contrast, my calculations on the odds of having two posts in a row published on the Freshly Pressed website came up with the answer 0.000, (or 0 for those using the imperial system) so I can rest totally assured that the post I am writing now will, with 100% guarantee, NOT be Freshly Pressed. It would be like the novelist knowing for certain that her second novel would be self-published, and posted straight to those fans that had already purchased the first one.

However of course there is the pressure of living up to the expectations of the small group of lovely new readers who, for whatever reason, (perhaps too much wine, or not enough sleep), decided to follow my blog after reading that recent post. An even smaller group still, a sub-group of those people, might actually read this next post. If they do, they may make comparisons to the previous one.

“Huh!” I imagine them thinking to themselves. “That post about cats was funnier/better written/more culturally relevant/more informative/included a lot more mentions of cats”.

I try to put this thought out of my head. After all, it’s the second time that a post I’ve written has been Freshly Pressed, so this blog does already have a little band of followers, who no doubt have already experienced the searing disappointment of reading many posts that are not as funny/informative/culturally relevant/well written/filled with socks, as the first post they read and enjoyed. Still they hang on, or don’t. There’s no way to really know whether people read your posts, just because they subscribe to your blog.

That’s where I find imaginary readers very encouraging. I like my imaginary readers because they were reading this blog before anyone else was, and although they are not as forthcoming with the “likes” and comments, they are very loyal, and always kind when I post less-than-brilliant writing, which is nearly every time I publish!

For those wondering what to expect from post-Pressed posts (pun intended), the only thing I’m certain about on this blog is that it is personal in style, so in general, when thinking of an idea for a post, I try to avoid being guided by whether a topic is popular in itself or not. You won’t find posts here about the 2014 Sochi games or Miley Cyrus. Clearly, I couldn’t have written posts for about 6 months straight back in 2011-2012, on how I was feeling after the death of my brother, if I’d allowed myself to be guided by the desire to write posts that gained lots of readers. Those posts are some of the most infrequently viewed on this blog, while people are constantly landing on my posts about yoga mats and the ears of a certain celebrity chef.

So I tossed around a few ideas for the dreaded next post – but at this point, I’ve reached the ideal length for a post, and it might be better to wind up here. In typical fashion, which shows why I am a fan of Samuel Beckett’s writing, it seems that my next post after being Freshly Pressed is a post about the factors holding me back from writing a post.

So for those readers who are new to following this blog, um…..how about those Winter Olympics, hey???*

*

*So far I have watched 1.5 minutes of the Winter Olympics, or for those of you on imperial measurements, bugger all.

Fade To Grey

I have a lot of admiration, and more than a little envy, for bloggers who are able to write a post every day, every other day, or even every week. I’ve successfully managed to make my life so busy at this particular point in time, that I can’t seem to write a post more than about once a fortnight, sometimes longer. I love the creative exercise of writing, and I spend a lot of time in the back of my mind while doing other things, imagining that if I had more time, I’d be writing.

But would I?

Sometimes I think I’m fooling myself. When I’m really flat out, juggling my two part-time jobs in non-profit arts organisations (that frequently require more time put into them than one full time job would), driving my daughter to appointments and extra-curricular activities, cooking, cleaning, spending time on weekends catching up on work, or making long overdue trips to see family, etc, I tell myself if only. If only I wasn’t doing this, I’d be sitting at my laptop writing.

But one evening recently I gave myself the night off from checking and replying to emails for the little theatre company I work for, and thought I’d write a post. I got out my laptop, sat myself in front of it, and recalled a list of possible topics that I had developed in the back of my mind. Suddenly, now that I had allowed myself time to write, it was apparent that all my ideas were only half-formed and had no substance. Just like the haze floating on the stage at the start of a theatre show, when I tried to pin them down, they faded away, revealing that there was no substance to them in the first place. I felt a definite lack of inspiration and couldn’t even muster up the energy to try.

I suppose this is called “Writer’s Block”, although I feel a bit of a fraud using that term, since I never refer to myself as a Writer, with a capital W, as if it’s my main occupation. Occasionally I’ll admit to the fact that I write – I allow myself to describe the activity, to claim writing as a verb that I do, but I don’t use the noun, or claim that it’s something that I am. Much as I don’t claim the title of Singer, although I do admit to singing, in the shower, in the kitchen, and in the car.

Thinking further about Writer’s Block though, it occurs to me that it’s possible to suffer from Athlete’s Foot without being an athlete, so I’ll accept that Writer’s Block is a term for a condition that anyone, even a lame, one-post-every-few-weeks blogger can suffer from. If only a tube of Canesten(TM) could swiftly clear it up!

If only it had the power to clear up the symptoms of writer's block.

Time someone invented a cream to free the brain from the symptoms of writer’s block. Directions: Before bedtime, drink one large glass of red wine, and rub an entire tube of cream directly onto the skull for maximum un-blocking action.

Perhaps right now, I need to take some time to work on my ideas. That is a frustrating realisation, when it’s taken me 3 weeks just to find time to write – I don’t want to have to delay publishing a post even longer, I want instant results!

As a blogger, I’m aware there’s a need to post on my blog as often as possible – that’s one of the ways to keep your followers engaged, right? My followers, even the imaginary ones, must be tired of the Test Pattern replacing real programs. I can see them all – stretched on the couch, yawning, scratching themselves and clicking the remote control to see what else is on.

Blogging is great for developing skills in writing about 800 – 1000 words pretty spontaneously, tidying them up a bit, and publishing – and hopefully producing a comprehensible and interesting piece of writing on most occasions. I’m not suggesting that I’ve produced any earth-shatteringly good writing using this method. I don’t expect the New York Times will text me this afternoon to see if I’m available to write a weekly column. But I like to think my – mostly spontaneous – posts, on which I’ve usually spent 2-3 hours at the most, have been adequate. But, as a blogger, the impetus to post as frequently as possible sometimes conflicts with the desire to change pace a little bit, and write something that is considered and researched, rather than just spontaneously writing whatever comes into my head and pressing the Publish button.

While I mull over what to write about next, and perhaps even try to plan how I’ll write it this time, I am undertaking at least one course of action that is recommended by most writers, and that is – reading. When I can snatch some time – usually at breakfast – I’ve been reading posts by other bloggers, articles and essays that I discover when someone tweets a link, and, not least, I’ve been reading real, actual books.

In fact I think it is all the reading I’ve been doing, across such a variety of media and topics, that is to blame for why my head was full of vaguely formed, half-thought-out ideas. Reading is definitely what stimulates a lot of my ideas, but perhaps, like Virginia Woolf, I should carefully plan my reading too.

Of course, back in the first half of the 20th century it was pretty easy for Woolf to plan her daily reading. It’s much harder in 2013, when my Twitter feed is full of links to articles and essays on topics ranging from music to feminism to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

After all, there are only so many links I can “favourite” to come back to later, before my list of favourites is so long that it’s just another never-ending feed of ideas that only serves to make me feel that I don’t have time to concentrate on any one idea properly.

Maybe I will try to select from the plethora of possible topics that bombard my mind every day and focus on just one of them. Hopefully when I next post, some of those half-formed ideas will have been slapped into shape.

Press Studded

*Press studded: (verb) (pronunciation: “press studded” ) Past tense of being “Freshly Pressed”, but only applicable if the Freshly Pressed post was about clothing. This quirky law of grammar applies even if the item of clothing in question was socks, which, so far in the history of socks, have never contained press studs.

Press Studs - so far, they've never been needed on any socks so far recorded.

Press Studs –  they’ve never been needed on any socks so far recorded.

Sorry to harp on about it,  but being Freshly Pressed a few weeks ago made me feel the need to confess some things to those generous people who “liked”,  commented and/or subscribed to my blog as a result.

Up until 3 weeks ago, I had assumed that my blog would never make the honor of being Freshly Pressed, because – well, it only seemed fair, really. Why? Well, because I don’t follow a lot of the WordPress tips for being Freshly Pressed – such as writing about a specific area of interest. I’ve written posts about unrelated topics ranging from The Beastie Boys to moustaches, to the mysteries of the universe. I didn’t make a habit of frequently commenting on other blogs in order to promote my own blog. My posts are usually way too long – just look at this one! As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, the tone of my blog went from humorous and light-hearted to sombre and heart-broken in late 2011 when I couldn’t write about anything other than the death of my little brother.

So by that time I’d pretty much accepted that the only ongoing readers I could expect to follow my blog regularly were my imaginary readers. As loyal as they were, they were unable to help to promote my blog. Thus, I fully expected NOT to be Freshly Pressed any time soon.

But having been Freshly Pressed, the cards are on the table and I’ll have to confess my worst blogging sin of all.  I’m unworthy of having lots of new (real) subscribers, because so far, I haven’t even subscribed to other blogs!

Ok, so if you didn’t close this page in disgust after reading the above line, please let me try to explain. I do read other blogs, of course. It’s other people’s blogs that inspired me to start blogging, and I’m still inspired, and often blown away, by how honest, entertaining, or insightful, some blogs are.

It’s just the whole notifications-in-your-inbox thing!  I just can’t bring myself to sign up to receive more emails on a large scale!

My personal and work email (for 2 different jobs!) inboxes are full of new emails every time I check them. I already delete a lot of the other “subscription” style emails I receive regularly, without even opening them. I can’t bear the thought of multiple notifications of multiple new posts I won’t have time to read on the spot, arriving on a daily basis.

If I could sign up to a blog, just to signal to the author that I like and read their blog, without having to receive notifications each time they post, then I would take up that option.

Perhaps I’m missing some crucial point about how to manage notifications, because I’m sure I’m no busier than most people. Some people told me they just use an email account that they never check….but that means setting up more freakin’ email accounts, and more passwords that I’ll have to write somewhere, just to ignore everything that comes into them.

I’m reaching oversaturation with online accounts – the thought of more creates anxiety!

My computer is pretty old - it's a hassle opening all these emails!

Too many emails. (Admittedly, my computer is pretty old.)

Image: http://www.toprankblog.com/

For this reason, my preferred course of action is to BOOKMARK (remember that old chestnut?) blogs I like . That way, when I have time, I can sit back with a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, and luxuriously read a few posts at a time on a given blog – a nice way to do it.

Unfortunately, though, this means that the writers of those blogs can’t count me in their subscribers, even though I do enjoy and follow their blog, even if it’s in intermittent bursts.

So I have to say how generous it seemed to me, way back in the days of  imaginary readers, when, after I did finally post a comment on a blog that I’d been following (without subscribing) for a while, the writer of that blog commented and followed my blog!

Now, I’m not generalising here, I’m referring specifically to the one total stranger who commented and followed, back then! I was thrilled, because unbeknown to her, her blog was one of the inspirations that got me started. There is a link to her blog across to the right – Fish Of Gold. Hers is a great example of a blog that is personal, has no particular theme, and is not always upbeat, nor always funny, but it contains such strong, engaging writing that readers want to come back and hear more. When starting out, that was all I knew about my own intentions – that I didn’t want to be committed to a theme or even to a particular style (eg, humorous), and it wasn’t until I found her blog I felt hopeful that it was possible for that approach to garner interest from a complete stranger.

For more than a year, my I could count my (real) subscribers on one hand, and all of those were known to me personally except for Fish Of Gold, so a big thanks to her!

Receiving so many likes, comments and subscribers after being Freshly Pressed has been humbling and eye-opening to me, as it seems generous of all of you who “liked”,  commented and followed. It has made me feel like I’m part of a blogging community. So I’m trying to be a bit less “reserved” about making comments and liking posts. I’ve been slowly trying to check out the blogs of those who commented, followed or liked a post. It’s a slow process, I’m afraid. You can see from the rate that I post (less than once a fortnight usually) that I don’t have heaps of time to spend blogging. I wish I had more! But I hope that over the holidays (15 days left to go!) I’ll post more frequently, AND catch up on reading lots of other good blogs.

But, so far, I still haven’t been brave enough to hit any subscribe buttons! So any advice as to how others manage the “email notification” problem would be gratefully accepted.

As Pressed as a Freshly Pressed Sock

So it seems as though I’ve made it to level 2 of this online game I’ve been playing for a while now, called Blogging.

Getting to level 2 is every blogger’s dream, but I have to admit, it’s kind of daunting when it happens. I’d been plugging away for 2 years, writing “posts” that were highly likely to not be read at all. There was a small group of readers who intermittently read, or commented, on posts. This small group of readers can be easily divided into 3 main categories: those who are related to me, those who live under the same roof as me, and those who exist only in my imagination. This last category comprised the largest section of my readership, and were the most supportive, although not on the blog, naturally, as they can’t type.

Leap forward to about 10 days ago, when I received an email to say that my post was about to be “Freshly Pressed”.

Wow. Being Freshly Pressed means you finally get a pass to go to level 2, which is a Freshly Pressed badge on your site, and lots of  new “followers”. The exciting bit about the way this game works is that these new followers are allegedly “real” – i.e, actual people, who exist outside of my head and are able to press the “Like” button or type a comment!

My loyal band of imaginary readers were unable to ever “like” or  comment, much they wished they could, because they lacked a physical body, which (despite all the recent advances in quantum mechanics) is still a necessary encumberance if you wish to control a keyboard.

I have to admit that it feels as if the deluge of new followers and commenters that interacted with my blog after it was Freshly Pressed may not really be real. Now that it’s all a week ago, it seems possible that all those comments were generated by a very sophisticated spamming program that is able to respond to key words as if it is conversing about suspected malicious whitegoods, partners who lose socks, and the possibility of the existence of other universes where socks are a black-market item.

But apparently these new followers are real human beings. Even so, it still requires imagination to think about all these real human beings reading my blog.

For a start, I don’t know them, what they look like, or where they are. For another thing, since I’m still writing this post, clearly, they can not yet be reading it yet and may never do so. At this point, they do so only in my imagination. Like any blogger, as I’m writing this, I’m imagining that I’m addressing a person, or some people, who might read it some time in the future, when it’s published on my blog. When we write a blog, or any writing for publication, readers can only be imagined, since they can only exist in the future, so – I rest my case. I am imagining all my potential readers, notwithstanding the fact that some of them are real.

So I feel that I need to proceed with caution here. There is a risk of imaginary feelings being hurt. Just because new readers of this blog may have certain advantages – such as having real fingers that allow them to “like”and comment – I don’t want my old imaginary readers to feel as if I’ve forgotten them.

So I decided that some introductions are in order to smooth over any possible ruffled feathers.

With that in mind – hello to any new, and/or real, readers out there! So that everyone is comfortable with one another, whether real or imaginary, I’d like to introduce you newbies/real folk to a few of my older/imaginary readers:

An academic at Melbourne University today, worried that this blog has discredited his thesis on Beckett

An academic at Melbourne University today, worried that this blog has discredited his thesis on Beckett

Early on there was this dude, above, who read one of my first posts, about Waiting for Godot. He had the nerve to object furiously to my ideas, in a 20,000 word paper that he scribbled out and submitted to the Academic Panel at the University of Melbourne.

Still, I didn’t really mind, since at least he read the post. He tunes in from time to time to see if I’ve written anything else he can react furiously to, but so far there has been nothing else even vaguely worthy of his snooty academic attention.

An example of a moustache

An example of a moustache

This is some mumbling guy that tried to respond to a few of my early posts about moustaches. Unfortunately, I couldn’t work out what on earth he was saying.

Help! My finger got stuck in a hole in this goddam mat, and now look at me!!

Help! My finger got stuck in a hole in this goddam mat, and now look at me!!

This guy enjoyed my post about yoga mats, but he tried a particularly complex yoga move in 2011, and sadly he is still stuck in that position, so he only gets to read my blog now if someone else holds a laptop in front of him. Poor guy!

Finally there is also my mum, who I mention from time to time, as if she reads this blog. That is my own little joke, as, in fact my mother is also an imaginary reader. Mum, bless her, is in her seventies and is the most extreme technophobe the world has ever known. She can’t even watch a DVD unless my father puts it on for her. They don’t have a computer, and she has no understanding of what the internet is, has certainly never seen this blog and would be totally perplexed at the entire notion of writing a blog if I was to try and explain it to her.

Hi Mum! I’ve been Freshly Pressed!

Sitting at the end of the day, wasting time

Hi and welcome to my little tutorial on a topic on which I am an expert: Time Wasting.

I’m happy to explain the concept of wasting time to you, but before I begin, let me tell you a little about my credentials. I’ve studied the art of wasting time, at TAFE and university level. My highest qualification so far is a Graduate Certificate in Time Wasting, but I am considering doing a PHD in the subject. In my undergraduate studies, I majored in a specific unit called “Time Wasting Delusion Disorder”, (TWDD) which is the study of the state of mind of a particular kind of time waster, who often ends up suffering from what’s known as “Chronic Time Frustration”. We will go into that in a moment.

I feel that I’m well qualified to tutor you in this topic. Since finishing my university studies, I have diligently kept up my time wasting practice, pretty much daily. I manage to fit this around my paid work, and sometimes even fit a little bit in during my paid work, although unlike some types of time wasters, I generally keep my time wasting separate to my paid work. This means that I fit the profile of the average TWDD sufferer, who is generally a fairly conscientious person, both in work and outside of it, and actually abhors the idea of wasting time.

Why does someone who is conscientious waste time?– I hear you ask.  A very good question. Let’s take a look at the profile of the TWDD sufferer.

It seems that some poor sods are cursed with a sense that every moment they are doing something (other than sleeping), the thing that they are doing should be useful and somehow enhance their life or the lives of others. Not in a huge, life-changing way (that would be a ridiculous pressure every moment of the day) but just in a small way, which can include relaxing and socialising, as long as you are not wasting time by socialising with people you don’t actually like, or relaxing in ways that will make your brain more stupid.

For example, the sufferer of TWDD reasons that reading a novel is a more useful activity than watching an episode of Funniest Home Videos. Why? Well, because we all know that reading is a smarter activity than watching tv. It is more active, utilises your imagination, increases your vocabulary, and gives you material to write a blog post about the book, in which you can sound literary-minded and intelligent. On the whole, it is more stimulating to the synapses than watching other people’s cats fall into toilets.

Synapse

A synapse undergoing stimulation as its owner reads a hardback, First Edition copy of Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, translated into Indonesian by an Arabian candle-seller.

It’s kind of like being lumped with a Protestant Work Ethic, without being a Protestant. However, possibly unlike the stereotypical Protestant, the TWDD Sufferer finds it soul-destroying to work in mind-numbingly boring jobs, for example at banks or in retail, and are happiest if their employment feels fulfilling and meaningful. It’s even better if it’s also lucidcrously busy. That way, between all the reward of it being meaningful, and the stress of being continually busy, they are highly motivated at work not to stop and waste time.

Outside of paid employment the TWDD sufferer likes to feel everything they do has a useful purpose. This is the kind of person who doesn’t watch much TV unless the program is either informative and educational or they consider the writing to be admirably good, whether it’s comedy or drama. I’ve mentioned their thoughts on “Funniest Home Videos,” but you probably also won’t find this person watching “X-factor” or “Border Security”.  No, they will instead be reading or doing something “useful” with their time upstairs on their laptop.

The delusional disorder comes in to play at this point. There is often a great disparity between the TWDD sufferer’s vague intentions, and what, in reality, pans out. Say, for example, the poor TWDD sufferer has vague intentions that in any of her spare time, she will write. This particular TWDD sufferer believes writing, like reading, to be a useful and beneficial occupation for her brain, with all the benefits of being an activity that is enjoyable and educational, as you would know, dear reader.  If you aim to write, then imagination, vocabulary, insight, interest – all of these words and more are required.

Let’s take, just for example, a case where our TWDD sufferer has a 4 day weekend. She thinks to herself that this is heaven! It’s enough time to do

a. household chores

b.work for her second job that always needs something done at home on the weekend

c. spending time with family and friends, and

d. writing

Why, with that much time she may not only write 1, or 2 blog posts, but even start an essay or story to send out to a literary magazine, something she hasn’t made time to do for over a year! She has a vaguely held desire that eventually she will start sending out so many pieces of writing that she will have become a freelance writer, able to write all day long for payment. This plan has to begin somewhere, thus the vague hope, each weekend or holiday, to write something  worth sending off.

Skip to day 4 of the 4 day weekend.

Our TWDD sufferer has: eaten out, wandered up Chapel Street, been to 2 movies with partner and/or child, been out for drinks, done the grocery shopping, washed cat vomit off the doona cover, washed loads of dishes and laundry, pegged out said loads of laundry and brought them back in again, helped her daughter select a photo to enter into a competition and heard her read her book presentation for school, done some work for her second job, and stripped the sheets off the bed. All useful and necessary things, some of which were also very enjoyable, and others which were not. (No thanks to the cat.)

She has also: on a sudden whim, spent nearly a whole day spring cleaning her daughter’s room and then the storage space upstairs, throwing out lots of old odds and ends, and taking a huge bag of old toys to the Opportunity Shop. Read posts on Facebook and Twitter. Read other people’s blogs. Read sections of the book she is currently reading. Watched an old episode of Get Smart. Suddenly on a whim, spent time filing photos saved on her laptop. Tried a few times to start a new post and not written anything that held her interest.

Suddenly it’s 5pm on day 4 and tomorrow she’ll be back at work. Some of these things were not really so necessary, and some, although useful, could be said to have been time wasting, in view of the goal, which was to really spend some serious time writing.

Synapse

A diagram showing the level of stimulation of a synapse as its owner washes cat vomit off the doona cover.

Now, students, what happens to our TWDD sufferer when this occurs? How closely were you listening? That’s right – well done, up the back! Chronic Time Frustration kicks in, whereby she feels a huge sense of frustration that there is never enough time. She believes that she does not have enough time in her busy life to get even a blog post written, let alone the essay or story that she just knows she could write if she had time. She becomes grumpy and snaps at people, because the day is coming to an end, dinner needs to be made, and somewhere inside her there is a brilliant post that she wanted to write and hasn’t. Or an essay that she could have drafted, that might have eventually led to something being published. That might have eventually led to a change in career. That might have led to being able to write every day, and not just in contracts for clients. But she hasn’t achieved any of that because she wasted her time and didn’t write anything at all.

Of course, dear reader, the above is just a fictional example. As you can see, I am not the poor pathetic Time Waster that I used to illustrate my point, because I have managed to write a post, and it’s only…..oh crap, it’s 5.25pm and I need to make dinner. Excuse me.

%d bloggers like this: