What is your Favourite Displacement Activity by Chris Longmuir
What do you do when the novel you are writing goes wrong? Your plot isn’t working? Your characters aren’t talking to you? Or perhaps you’re suffering from writer’s block. I’m sure some, or all of this, strikes many writers from time to time. And if you are a writer who has never been affected by any of this, then you are lucky.
This is where avoidance comes in. The reluctance to put pen to paper, or fingers on keyboard. And in order to avoid having to do this a writer may engage in some sort of displacement activity.
I have heard tell that some women writers find mounds of ironing to do, scones to bake, or house cleaning to be done. I’m afraid none of these activities appeal to me as I’m a non-domesticated animal.
One of my displacement activities is building computers. I’ve built two desktops over the years, but I refuse to build any more. The reason for this refusal is simple. Space. I would need a bigger house. But there’s nothing stopping me from upgrading the computers I have. So, I know that when I start looking online for upgrades to the components inside my computers, displacement activity is kicking in.
Talking about computers – I’m not a gamer, but I find myself drawn to Angry Birds, Hearts, or Bubble Shoot at these times. You can waste hours on these stupid games. Oh, and surfing the internet, for information on the most outlandish things, that’s a good way to keep you away from your next great novel. And I won’t go into Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Reading is another thing. Now, all writers read, no problem there. It’s when the volume of books to be read goes up that it becomes a problem. Has anyone noticed I’ve been adding reviews to Eclectic Electric recently. And of course when I’m writing reviews, I’m not working on my novel!
But recently I’ve found a brand new displacement activity – adult colouring books. Many years ago I fancied myself as an artist and used to draw and paint a lot, I suppose it comes with being a creative personality. So these colouring books soothed a different kind of itch to the compulsive writing one.
So, what is your favourite displacement activity? And while you’re thinking about it, can you send someone along to whip me into shape or my new book will never be finished.
I'm impressed that you can build computers, Chris! The next time you want to avoid writing, you'd be most welcome to upgrade my ancient PC.
Though lately, if I'm stuck for word, I have taken to picking up a guitar and trying to teach myself the basics. The sense of achievement is easier to get when just beginning a new skill. It's much harder when it's something you're already competent at.
I try to persuade myself that a love of cricket is less a diversion than a basic obsession with the game, but actually I think it's both. (And a timely post, this, as another Test Match starts tomorrow and already I'm looking how to organise my day so I can go for a long walk with my radio!)
Anyway, I know what I want for Xmas: a laptop rebuilt by Chris. Something old and funky looking that takes off like a bat out of hell.