Thursday, October 2, 2008


Yesterday was a holiday. I went jogging in the morning and surfed the Internet most of the day. I wanted to work on my book but the distraction of the Net was too seductive. I wanted to find out a few things and later was only able to work for a few minutes in the late evening. There is too much information out there that you will get lost and enticed. It started with my research on Kars - the eastern Turkish city depicted in Orhan Pamuk's incredible book 'Snow' which I am listening to these past days.

Soon I was in You Tube looking at Turkish documentaries, Google Earth looking at the actual map and pictures of Kars, various other sites on the same city and soon videos on the Turkish military, Kurds and belly dancing - both the Turkish and Arabic version, and finally, Turkish musical videos and exotic group dancing. I guess I fairly satisfied my curiosity on Kars and Turkey that started with Orhan Pamuk's book. Initially I thought it was a fictionalized city. (To increase my distraction, I am also reading a picture book on Islamic influence on Venice!)

I also spent some time reading the news on the major newspaper web sites on the credit and bailout crisis, US presidential elections, British politics, wine videos and, finally, some adult sites not worth mentioning. Afterwards, I watched a DVD movie of Michelangelo Antonioni's 'Red Desert'. So this is the greatest challenge I faced that is to beat my procrastination. So success in any endeavor as both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have said is to have FOCUS. There are too many distractions in TV and the Internet that will pull you away from your work if you do not have an iron will.

I researched on the website devoted to writing a novel and found some sites that are helpful. Firstly, I realized that writing is not some divine mystical effort the I thought it was after reading Hemingway. He writes very simply that you are deluded into thinking that it's really easy to do, driven by a divine inspiration. But this has not worked for me and the CDs on writing I listened to such as by Ayn Rand and Stephen King have corrected me of this delusion. Writing a novel is really an activity that must be done without emotion and the websites on writing have emphasized this point. It is more like having a regular and structured schedule to write.

The writing approach is also fairly clinical and I realized that I already have the tools to be successful. I have purchased software programs like New Novelist and Novel Writing Standard that provide a structure. But I never was taken with this idea and preferred to be divinely inspired - driven by ecstatic emotions to fuel the creative urge like those artists seen in movies.

This is the impression that has built within me throughout the years and which have prevented me from achieving anything. Now I realized that it's like any project and tools like MS Excel, MS Word and Mind Mapping as well as the other software tools I mentioned are really helpful for the writer. It's removing the emotion (the so called creative urge from artsy-fartsy types) and embarking on regular working routine (like in any other work) that is the key to overcoming procrastination.

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