The Squash Player & The Procrastinator

I’ve still not started the revision of my First Draft and I’m angry at myself for it.

There are reasons, of course. There are always reasons. The main one right now is that I have an unusually large number of social events this week. I try to keep my social interactions to a minimum, but sometimes I guess I’m so God damned charming that people just cannot do without my company.

This is burden I have to bear. Weep for me.

But like a good guitarist never stops thinking about that great chord change or how to make those string bends sound a little sweeter, I guess a good writer doesn’t stop thinking about writing.

Plot, characters, atmosphere. Creating a beautiful little scene. Etcetera.

On my daily commute, I often see this nice, polite, Asian chap who has terrible Parkinson’s. He sits on the train in a tailored suit, trying to read his quivering copy of The Metro. This morning, I saw what looked like a squash racquet in his bag. A guy with Parkinson’s playing squash? Shut up!  

As it turns out, the caffeine from my morning espresso had yet to reach my eyes; it was an umbrella, not a squash racquet. But for a minute or so, the character of a squash player with Parkinson’s came alive in my mind.

Below is a picture of my friend of mine who I play squash with most weeks. We are both crap, but that doesn’t stop us from being ultra-competitive. The picture was taken after he lost the match. FullSizeRender

Maybe I’ll use him, maybe I won’t.

It’s good to give your characters these little quirks and hobbies. It makes them lift off the page and implant themselves into the reader’s imagination. Steal anything around you that you think might be useful. Write it down and store it away. When you’re stuck on a scene or a character, take out the box and see if something fits. You might be surprised.

Regarding procrastination, well, writing a novel is a daunting prospect. If it wasn’t, every fucker would be doing it.

Perhaps feeling a little trepidation is a good thing. It might help me give the medium the respect it deserves.

9 comments

  1. If I had a dime for every time I confused an umbrella for a squash racket, I’d be caught in the rain with something full of holes to cover me. Then again, thank god I live in San Diego where it rains 5 days per year when every driver becomes a threat to my basic survival.

    I need to carry a box to fill with potential characters for all my future books. My novel currently sits in a box waiting for the first re-write. I can’t build enough courage to hammer through it, but what I can build are a series of excuses as to why I haven’t started yet.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s printed. And I even sat down and read all those 54,000 words and made typo corrections! What’s making me stall is “do i go 1st person, or stick to 3rd person???”

        Tomorrow sounds like a grand day to start!

        Like

      2. Well what do you like the best? First or third? I say go with your gut. There will always be people who don’t like it. First create something you want to read, then try to convince others.

        Like

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