Friday, 14 August 2015

Sipping SoCo with Ma Homies

Writing that last post in a week was tough. I had to get up at 8:30 every morning and write all day -- well, until tea time, with a break for lunch in the middle -- like I was bloody Hercules or something. And even with this gargantuan effort it still wouldn't have been enough if I hadn't also had the two years I'd spent beforehand drawing up aborted drafts and taking notes and scribbling mad gibberish late into the nights.

This post, in comparison, has definitely been written in a week. More specifically, it has been written in a day. Even more specifically, it has been written today, between about 11am and whenever this goes up.

I would like to offer two reasons for this. Firstly, I suffer from a debilitating case of perfectionism, and I'm trying to learn to let go of that, to embrace the craft rather than the goal, to focus on getting regular posts up rather than spending months building delicate, belletristic articles that end up not working anyway and making me want to cry.

The second reason is that I'm lazy -- extraordinarily, inordinately lazy. Honestly, in the time it's taken me to write the previous three paragraphs I've alt+tabbed away from this fourteen times, checked Snapchat twice, and read the entire life story of a Game of Thrones character too insignificant to have made it into the TV show. I used to play videogames to bunk off, which at least made my procrastination fun, but writing a blog about games killed the appeal of that. These days I mostly just mash at my phone screen, eat bowls of cereal, and drink coffee.

The trouble is that my brain has already worked out that it can trot out an adequate post today in the time it has left. Not a superb post, but one that will suffice. Like the way a tennis player can extrapolate a ball's movement into the future and conduct myriad muscles to ensure their racquet finds the optimal position for return, so my brain just automatically gauges the precise amount of effort required to slouch through life not going high enough to have to try, but never quite dipping low enough to fail completely. In Year Six I wrote a project on explorers that was supposed to take a month, but I did it in the last two days, and I still got four stamps for it -- not the five that the class swots got, but the four that proved I could have got five if I'd wanted, but that I hadn't wanted, because I'd been too busy being a ten-year bad-motherfucking-G (read: watching Rugrats). I've pretty much been doing the same thing ever since.

Of course, I'm self mythologising there, and, like those Southern Comfort adverts where they try to convince you that it's tattooed DJs and trendy models partying in loft apartments in Brooklyn who refer to the drink as "SoCo" rather than, umm, literally no one, not only is this excruciatingly embarrassing but also patently untrue. I want to sound like never trying gives me the careless insouciance of Jeff Bridges in the Big Lebowski, joint in one hand, White Russian in the other, ambling through comedic escapades with nary a worry, when in reality deep inside I'm... I dunno, probably Philip Seymour Hoffman. Or the sweaty private eye, maybe.

Procrastination, the kind that I partake in, isn't about enjoying the moment, but hiding from it. I don't fiddle with Windows settings and scroll listlessly down my Instagram feed and drink ungodly amounts of coffee because I actually want to; I do it because it's easy.

But difficulties in life are unavoidable. By trying to hide from them you only make things way worse in the long run. Trust me on that.

So maybe it's time I did something about it. For next week's post I will write a diary of my attempts to defeat this dastardly demon of procrastination, and hopefully the pressure of knowing all six of you will be reading will embarrass me into getting up and giving it a go each morning. And if not, at least I'll have time to read up on those lesser known Game of Thrones houses. 


Other stuff I've done this week:

- Watched Jodorowsky's El Topo. The first of his work I've seen. Imagine spending a weekend ploughing through nothing but spaghetti westerns and episodes of the Mighty Boosh, then taking far too much acid and going on a spirit quest, and you're maybe halfway there. For much of the film I was confused and bored, but towards the end my brain gave up trying to make any sense of it and I found I was really enjoying it. More interesting than all the toss on Netflix, at any rate.

- Played King of Tokyo with my friends. I love board games. They're proof that, contrary to what modern society tells us, you don't need alcohol to have a good time, only a bunch of mates, a spare afternoon, and a flat surface upon which to roll your dice. Sadly, on this occasion we all drank way too much alcohol and the game was a wash-out, but the thought was there.

- Got a haircut. Shout-out to James Higgins at The Gentleman Fox for making this lumpy potato head almost aesthetically bearable. They do nice local beard oil as well! Huzzah.


  1. Rob, I like this new approach (I hope you didn't actually take three weeks over it!).
    Really looking forward to a view of your daily attempts to avoid procrastination - promocrastination...)

  2. Rob, I like this new approach (I hope you didn't actually take three weeks over it!).
    Really looking forward to a view of your daily attempts to avoid procrastination - promocrastination...)