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39 – The king of procrastination

20 February, 2012


At 15.10 of Monday, February 20th, I finally start writing what will be my 39th and last but one post of this blog.

What? Didn’t you say you were writing 100 post in a year span? Yes, that was my intent. As I declared many other things I didn’t follow through, because I have changed my mind. And I declared this too. The thing is, now I feel the perfect way to close a blog on my 40 years is with my 40th post, whose title can be only “40 and now?”. But I’ll come into details of this in my last post.

Now I have some sense of urgency, the article about procrastination I have announced few times, can’t wait anymore. I can start talking about procrastination is not such a bad thing if Paulo Coelho, maybe the most popular and successful writer in these days, admit he spend the days procrastinating, as you can listen in this interview with the always badass Fim Terriss. Coelho began writing exactly just before turning 40 years old, after a Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela. Before that he kept procrastinating the mission of his life.

The author of The Alchemists claim that today, like in old times, he always find excuses for not writing, but when finally start he can keep rolling for many hours without a break. This is his secret, just “going with the flow”, follow the stream of consciousness of his thoughts and emotions without trying to dominate them.Then he tell as couple of other things that lead me to identify with him, if not with his worrisome cadence in his talks, that looks like the one of a boozer, even if honestly I suppose this is the result of his age and some difficulties to improvise speaking, the effective abuse of good wine.

The first thing O’Paulo remark is there are two types of writers: the ones like Proust or Joyce that have their vivid own imaginary world and the like of Rimbaud (or according to make Portogues subtitles in youtube Rambò) (ghghhghgh, giggling), Hemingway, himself or Cloudio, that need to have some real experiences before unleash their creativity. But Coelho, like Cloudio, doesn’t also feel writing about many things they had experience.

Don’t worry about capture everything goes in your mind (Coelho never takes notes) (badass Fim Terriss instead use evernote, a company in which he invested, so he doesn’t miss a chance to remind us), because the essential always find a way to surface on his own terms. Moreover he suggest to going on your way, ignoring critics which most of the time can only damage you. Then he add a word that maybe is the most important: perseverance.

Something I have experimented in these days of “fitness challenge”: never give up. Like Jeremy Lin that never pick up his dribble, careless of his turnovers or defensive traps: he keep going until he find a hole in the opponents defense.

So it should be in writing or any other thing we care of: make an effort especially in off days or hard moments, keep trying, change perspective, experiment alternatives, eventually stop, came back and follow another road if the one we took looks like without way out. And like my WII always repeat to me when I do my daily body test and the weight hasn’t changed “don’t worry of immediate results, they will come naturally over time”

In this perspective, procrastination is not just a wast of time, like we mostly perceive it. Until we keep our brain active it can become a way to take our time, stay tuned on our final goal, keeping it in background, avoiding to deplete our energies, while we are waiting for the right inspiration. If it’s not clear to you..who care! Coelho suggest not to describe characters and situation with too many details. It’s enough a hint, then it’s the reader job to connect the dots. (This is also, IMHO; a faboulus way to cover your arse).

Just back from the Malta Experience, 4 days wandering in this nice little island between Sicily and Africa, an interesting indeed melting pot, where among long walks in sunny days and lavish meals I managed to stay away from a computer keyboard all the time, grew lazy by a typical Milanese day, grey and humid that gives you headache, with errands to do, it was easy today find justifications for not delivering my piece of art.

Instead at 16.37 I am past my psychological barrier of a word page, and without bother to reread, I can just past on WordPress, search an appropriate picture and in few minutes hit the publish button.

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