If productivity is the angel on the writer's shoulder, then procrastination must be that malevolent, pitch-fork wielding fiend. We hates it, precious. It leads us from our lofty creations to cat videos and clickbait. It eats our time and our genius.
Or does it?
In my latest sprint I actually had quite a productive bout of procrastination. I found myself
avoiding writing and I allowed myself to give in. But then in this free time, I still thought about what I needed to write.... with some improved dialogues as a result.
Also I search a lot of stuff on the internet for my novel and yes, I sometimes procrastinate myself into funny videos of unlikely animal friends. But often I find things that add to my story as well, even if it's only in the smallest of ways.
So therefore, in praise of procrastination, my top 5 of interesting, sad, weird or funny things I searched and found on the internet while working on my novel.
And obviously - here be (mild) spoilers!
5. Beard burn
Yes, I'm a 'I-kissed-a-girl-and-I-liked-it' kinda girl, so when one of my characters kisses a guy with a beard, I had some reading up to do on how that would affect her. Thankfully, the Internet is there with cures, tricks and tips from wives of bearded men!
Spoiler alert: the kissed man in my book has only a strong stubble, not a beard.
4. A nice pint
Characters are just like humans and get thirsty sometimes. But what do you do when you're in the middle of a scene set in Donegal in the 1940s? Did they have iceboxes? Filled with bottled pints? I spent a fair amount of time researching this and came up empty. I ended up sending my character to the pub and it worked so much better for him.
Spoiler alert: this character later switches to whiskey.
3. Take the weather with you
I write a book with magical realistic tendencies but I am a stickler for real life details. Like, what was the weather like? Enter the world wide web! Is there anything you can't find an answer to (well, except for beer storage in remote areas before the '50s)?
Spoiler alert: it rained.
2. Magdalene Laundries
This is the one search I got lost in because I was shaken from what I was reading. The question was simple - what happened to a young Irish girl who had gotten pregnant (and wasn't married). The answer is horrific. These girls were sent to so-called 'Magdalene Laundries' where they were in fact treated as slaves. Many of them and of the children born there, did not survive.
Spoiler alert: often the truth is worse than fiction.
1. The sound of water I often turn to Google for inspiration on descriptions of colours or sounds. This time I needed something to describe the sound of water running in a sink. I could never have imagined that I would find such a wealth: a tool that lets you generate your own special water soundmix. Or Japanese garden soundmix. Or Native American Flute. Or Irish Coast. Or... or... or....
Spoiler alert: the sound of running water didn't make it into the final scene. Celine Dion did, somehow.