This post is a time capsule. I wrote it around two years ago, before I had a baby and learned that far from having no time, I had so much time. All of it my own. Oceans and oceans of lovely, solitary time. Anyway, I happened upon this recently and aside from the smug opening paragraph I can still relate to it, so I decided to publish it here because this is my site and I can.
Living and working in London and attempting to do anything other than live and work in London means you never feel like you have enough time. There’s always the lingering feeling that in an ideal world you would have weeks to sleep and days to cook and hours and hours to exercise. So I took a week off work for a self-imposed writing boot camp. Unfortunately it was in my flat rather than a picturesque cottage in the country, but the goal was the same. I wanted to discover what I was capable of given the time and space to write in.
Results were mixed. But I did discover great new capabilities for procrastination as I grappled with self-discipline. Here are the ten most ridiculous things I did instead of write:
1. Decided to put on a new album to listen to. Fell down a rabbit hole of 100 best album lists online. Read the entire list of NME’s 500 Greatest Albums. Tried to keep a mental tally of how many I’d listened to, but lost track and had to start again.
2. Tracked down a long-lost school friend on Facebook. After trawling through pictures of her brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s wedding, considered becoming a private detective. Rejected it because you don’t get to wear cool hats any more.
3. Made a batch of butternut squash and chilli scones. Actually kind of wonderful and hardly a waste of time at all.
4. Deep cleaned the bathroom, gaining an intimate acquaintance with every tile on the wall in the process.
5. Spent so long staring at my bare foot that I came to see it was almost definitely deformed. After much googling, diagnosed Morton’s Neuroma. Treated myself with wine to deal with the stress.
6. Spent a good chunk of time exploring the world of Harry Potter fan fiction. It’s a dark and dangerous place. Don’t enter unless you’re prepared to envisage Draco Malfoy in new and alarming ways. Fretted that lots of the fan fiction is much better than anything I’ve ever written.
7. Made chicken curry and froze it. Made a bakewell cake and froze it. Made empanadas and froze them. Yes, I like food, why do you ask?
8. So many memes.
9. Organised my drawers. Something so satisfying about folding your pants while the rest of your life crashes and burns in the background.
10. Buzzfeed listicles. Yes, just like this one. I’M SO SORRY FOR WASTING YOUR TIME AND DISTRACTING YOU FROM WHATEVER YOU SHOULD BE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE. GO. GO NOW AND DO IT!