Bookshop Addiction-there is no cure.

Do you admit to bookshop addiction? I do. Openly, blissfully I admit to my affliction.

And there is no cure. I know; I have done the studies. No. Cure.

When you enter those hallowed walls, how do you browse the shelves? What is your process? Do you head straight for your genre, despite looking for a gift for someone else? Do you start at the back and work forward? Or do you mix it up a little?

I start at the beginning. At the very front. Those tables piled with temptation; the specials tables, then the new releases. Oh… the joy of picking the latest by a favourite author. Beyond these to the crime, romance, literature. There is the classic I have been looking for. On to the self help which does nothing to salve my addiction.

The children’s section, cooking and wine. Art and memoir. My pulse quickened back at Australian Classics and my doctor would seriously disapprove of the level my blood pressure has reached. I have enough to feed my addiction for the moment. It is time to go.

Have you noticed most registers are never quite at the front of the store? Nor in the middle or the back? No. So as not to impede your progress, they know their best spot is to the side, set back a little; not too obvious but where you will see them, ready to transfer your treasures into a brown paper bag while they feed their spoils of your addiction into the till.

I confess to something a little peculiar; I pick the book behind the first one. So I buy a pristine copy. It’s like the top one is sacrificed for the good of the rest. Unless I am browsing a second hand bookshop. That’s a whole other story.

My habit is out of control; I have browsed many a bookshop and below are a few of my favourites. There’s a common thread in these; heritage buildings, high timber shelves, careful lighting. And those library ladders!

New modern shops with their bright lights and garish posters – not for the seriously addicted, clearly. No, the serious addict doesn’t want their affliction flaunted in places such as these. Give us the low light, soft murmurs, and that smell. You know what I mean. Breathe it in and exhale slowly.

Advertisements

If Anthony Trollope can do it, or 117,000 words 15 mins at a time.

In my last post I told you that I was easily distracted from writing, in reality suffering from the chronic malaise of procrastination. Then how did I manage to write more than 117,000 words in eight months you ask? Glad you asked.

When I began my draft last year, I set myself a goal of 1000 words a day in order to achieve at least 80,000 words. This was also dependent on writing every day. What could possibly go wrong? Four months in and I was way behind. I was lucky to write 1000 words in 1 week at times.

Let me explain my procrastination problem. My overlying issue is that I do not put my writing before all else; before the housework, a good book, the dog, friends, family, social media, the new adult colouring fad… you get the picture. And then the guilt sets in and the self chastising and before you know it another day has gone by and no writing. (And probably no housework either, but I didn’t tell you that.)

This old dog is not good at learning new tricks, so the problem is not going to go away any time soon. What to do? By chance I came across a post about this very issue. (Surprise surprise, again with the procrastination.)

Apparently, prolific author, Anthony Trollope, managed to churn out so many books because he made himself write 250 words in 15 minute time slots for 3 hours every day. I am no Trollope and there is no way I would find 3 hours in my day. But this piqued my interest.

Anyway long story short, I said to myself, ‘Self, it is only 15 minutes, you don’t have to find an hour or more in one sitting.’ So I set the timer for 15 minutes and wrote. Or typed. For 15 minutes non stop. Of course it would need editing, it was a draft for goodness sake. BUT I always managed more than 250 words in each sitting. Sometimes I would leave it and set aside another 15 minutes later in the day, or I would immediately set the timer again and go for it.

Because I realised I would still not manage to write every day, this method was perfect and worked wonders. My self esteem, my sense of achievement, raised itself a notch as my goal of 1000 words was easily met, and often beaten, in up to four sessions on any given writing day.  And my goal of 80,000 words? See for yourself.

IMG_1860

If I can do it, anyone can. Enjoy and happy writing.