Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wasting time

Sometimes I reckon doing anything else other than writing is wasting time. Obviously, we all have to earn a living, clean the house, cook meals, tend families, etc., but anything on top of that could be construed as avoidance. Trouble is, there are too many other things going on!

In my case, getting involved with the lecturing has not been a good idea - pay not good; any other benefit doubtful. Yet it's all I've done since mid-December. I'm also looking critically at the re-enactment. Particularly as currently I'm on the sick bench, it is proving a financial black hole. It takes up a lot of time as well - preparing for the events, ensuring you have the right kit, have packed the right stuff, etc. We're bound to do some shows this year, as quite rightly, the dp wants something bordering on a holiday.

I like to watch tv. There's a lot of really useful stuff on there, some of which feeds into writing (I'm starting to get rather analytical about drama, which is a good sign, I think), and some of it on an archaeological level. But should I actually be upstairs tapping away at my computer?

And that's another thing. The WWW. Again it feeds into my interests, but do I really need to frequent the various boards, discussion lists, etc? In lieu of actually being in the outside world, it's nice to drop in on other people and find out what they're up to. Reading: another killer leisure activity, but again essential to broadening my interests and informing my research. So many books ... So many things to find out about.

Recently, I dropped doing commercial archaeological reports, and this has freed up a lot time. It was at the expense of getting paid (!) But these superficial reports (all that's required by the client, btw) were doing very little for the research aspects of my finds work. So I then took on some lecturing for the experience, and was tempted into writing up a finds report for publication (aka the Holy Grail of Archaeology) ...

So when do these 'relveant' activities tip over into just being displacement habits - when I really should be writing?

I'm sure that those who focus properly are the ones who get their books finished. They do it to the exclusion of the sort of time wasters I've detailed above. Good on them. I wish I could be so single minded. My proposed non fiction tome could be done by anyone with enough knowledge (and I could name about three others), but do they have the focus? And the sheer will to do it? Do I?


At 2:16 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

I know what you mean. Too many interesting things and not enough time to do even a fraction of them. What about adapting William Morris's dictum? Something like 'Do nothing which you do not know to be useful or believe to be enjoyable'.


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