Five Creative Ways to Stop Procrastinating

Authors like to spend a lot of time not writing. We even made a term for it, writer’s block! People say the internet made it worse. That’s probably true, but mankind has always been good at putting off important things.

It is hard to truly get away from the internet. Many coffee shops and libraries have free wifi. What to do when a new pinterest board is only a few clicks away?

Here are five unconventional ways to unplug. They may strike you as odd, but then again you are the person reading presumably because you procrastinate. You’re probably doing it right now.

I’ve arranged these in the order in which they should be attempted. Proceed with caution.

Taco_Bell_Night1. Do Your Work at Taco Bell

Taco Bell doesn’t have free wifi. Who would want it? It’s a place where seats are almost always available and no employee is going to complain about you spending hours typing away at your laptop. The only real downside is that you might get diarrhea.

2. Have Your Partner Punish You For Procrastination

Sounds juvenile doesn’t it? So does frequenting the internet for ways to fix an easily fixable problem. Tell your partner to do bad things to you if you do bad things to yourself. Remember spankings? Adults can find that kinky though. Instead, have them pluck leg hairs or be forced to watch whatever they want to watch on TV. You might get divorced, but you might also finish your book!

3. Unfollow Interesting People

Facebook is a big time suck. There is a reason people look at it though. There can be plenty of fun stuff to look at. Simple solution, get rid of the fun stuff. You don’t have to unfriend anyone, just unfollow them. They’ll never know unless you’re a serial liker.

4. Get a Diaper

Bathroom breaks are dangerous. That walk to the toilet is filled with distractions. It sounds gross because it is gross. Therefore, you’ll be more likely to get stuff done when you’re at risk of having to clean up your own feces.

5. Become a Bigot

This is the most extreme one and should be used as a last resort. If you can’t avoid friends or loved ones, lose them. Act offensive and mean so they’ll leave you alone. You might have to write under a pen name, but again, at least you’ll have your book.

So there you have it. You might think this is terrible advice and it might be in your case. Procrastination can be tough to conquer and desperate times do call for desperate measures. Now get back to work!


Are We Really In This Together?

The Internet is filled with inspirational stuff for you to look at instead of doing whatever it is you should be doing. That’s okay. I imagine it works for some people.


Being an author is tough, especially in the year 2015. There are a lot of us. The market is flooded and that’s really not a great thing. I’m not suggesting that we should do anything to buck the trend, but the simple truth of the matter is that there’s a lot of stuff published that isn’t worth reading.

It’s true. The only people who can truly be blamed are those who put error ridden crap up on Amazon, and no, I’m not singling out self published people. Which brings me to the question presented as the title of this article.

Here is an image I see on the Internet at least once a week. “Other authors are not my competition. I stand with them, not against them.”


Other authors are your competition. When a person buys a book that isn’t yours, they chose someone else over you. They may not know who you are, but it doesn’t matter. A book was sold and it wasn’t yours. You lost out on that.

The reason I hate that picture is because of the second sentence. It implies that treating your fellow authors as competition means you’re against them. That’s just silly.

I get tons of requests from people who want me to plug their books. If I don’t know the person, I almost always say no. If I do know the person, I almost always say yes. So here I am, Ian Thomas Malone, saying, “other authors are my competition. I stand with some of them, the ones I like.”

Now this might anger you if you don’t know me. “How could he possibly say such a thing? Madness.” Not at all.

Saying “we’re in this together” is comforting for many people, especially since most publishers offer next no marketing support. Your buddies can do wonders for your career. I care about my author friends.

Do I care about the rest? Sort of. I don’t mean that facetiously either. Only that, I don’t particularly care if authors I don’t know succeed. I don’t wish them ill, I just want to be better than them.

The only real catastrophic disaster that would ensue if all publishing stopped for a year would be that bookstores would likely all go under. Readers wouldn’t run out of books. We don’t need any more authors.

That’s not to say I’m not supportive of people who aspire to be authors, though I’m naturally skeptical until they actually start writing. I just acknowledge the facts of the world we live in. There are rankings for a reason. Many of us want to be number one. That means someone else has to be number two.

I love my author friends and know that none of them will take offense to any of this because they know it’s true just as well as I do. The theme song to Pokemon starts off with “I want to be the very best, like no one ever was.” Children’s cartoons are usually right.

Other authors are your competition. That doesn’t mean it’s all out war like The Hunger Games. Although in keeping with that, we can learn something from Suzanne Collins.

You can be friends with your competition. You should be friends with some of them. Learn from them and strive to be better. That’s how you really support other authors.


Blog Tour: The Multiverse of Max Tovey

Title: The Multiverse of Max Tovey

Author: Alastair Swinnerton

Genre: Young Adult Time Travel

Synopsis: Fourteen year old Max Tovey’s world is blown apart when he discovers that his problems are nothing to do with him, and everything to do with being a Time Traveller. Following his mysterious grandfather’s funeral, Max finds himself on a wild journey through first century Celtic Britain, real and mythological, as his every action threatens to change the past, and his future.

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Max battles demons – both real and psychological – on his mission to find the legendary Montacute Cross, stolen by his Viking ancestor Tofig, in order to close the gates to the Underworld, and lift the curse on his family.

Author Bio: Alastair has been writing for children’s television for over twenty five years. Among his many credits are ‘The Wombles’, ‘Sabrina, Secrets of a Teenage Witch’, and the Bafta-nominated CBBC Christmas Special ‘The Tale of Jack Frost’, which he wrote, co-produced and co-directed. He was also one the co-creators of Lego® Bionicle®. ‘The Multiverse of Max Tovey’ is his first Young Adult novel.

Alastair lives in Somerset with his family, and spends much of his spare time walking the dog, more often than not at his beloved Ham Hill.


“So now you can find what you seek,” whispered the Chief­tain.

Max pulled The Coin from his pocket, which now glowed very brightly, and hummed very loudly. Hoping desperately that it wouldn’t wake the General, Max walked slowly towards the end of his bed, as The Coin was directing him to, until he came to a wooden chest.

“It must be in there,” he whispered, before very very carefully opening the lid. Inside, the chest was full of coins.

“How do we find the right one?” whispered Myvi. But they didn’t need to – for just outside the chest, was one coin that had fallen out, now pressed into the ground by the General’s boot. And it was glowing. As Max, Myvi and the Chieftain watched in amaze­ment, The Coin began to glow, and hum, and then rise slowly out of the ground.

“What is this magic…?” said Rhydderch, a little afraid despite himself.

Headshot colourThe coin continued to rise, until it was at Max’s waist. Tenta­tively Max held out The Majyga Coin in his palm under the one that was rising, until the two were touching. And then there was a blast of light, and both coins disappeared.

“What…?!” said Vespasian, waking suddenly, and on seeing Max, Myvi and Rhydderch immediately called out.

“You?! I told you I’d kill you if I saw you again! Guards!”

Vespasian leapt out of bed and grabbed his sword as two guards with their own swords out rushed in. But then all three were stopped in their tracks as a strange glow began to form between them and Max and the others, a glow that was slowly taking form, and which, with a deep, deep growl, now became flesh, a huge man, easily seven feet tall, dressed in glowing silver armour, and carrying a long, barbed, razor sharp silver sword.

“You wish to destroy The Coin…?” came a voice out of it that was even lower than a Gurt Dog’s. Max was staring wildly at the ap­parition, but somehow managed to nod.

“Then you must destroy me, for I am The Coin!”

Max ducked the first sword swipe, astonishingly fast for one so big, but one of the guards didn’t, and fell instantly dead.

“What is this?!” yelled Vespasian as he managed to parry a second blow, before leaping out of the bed chamber and into the Hall proper.

“Never mind what it is!” yelled Max, as he and the others followed the General, fleeing the demon soldier. “If you want to live, you’ll have to help us kill it!”

More soldiers ran into the Great Hall now, until many dozens surrounded the Demon. No match for the Demon’s lightening quick sword work, they fell as quickly as they arrived. Vespasian now ran up behind the Demon as it was occupied with two of his men and ran it through with his sword. Nothing happened. The Demon mere­ly turned toward Vespasian and laughed.

You cannot kill me!” it yelled, pointing its sword at Max and Myvi. “Only they can kill me!”

“I think we’re in trouble,” said Max, hugging his sword to his chest.

“You may be right,” said Myvi, instinctively ducking a blow from the Demon, memory of many fights now returning to her. She rolled across the floor, parrying another blow, before bringing her own blade up at its sword arm, but it went right through, with no effect. The Demon laughed again.

“All they have to do is work out how!”

But now Myvi was pointing at Max’s sword.

“Max! Your sword! It’s glowing!”

The Demon growled low now, backing away as Max ad­vanced towards it, his now glowing sword held out in front. He just hoped he could remember how to do this.

“How did you get it to glow?” said Myvi.

“I think I must have touched it against The Brooch!” said Max, slashing at the Demon, but the Demon slashed back, heavily, again and again, forcing Max to desperately parry time after time before falling to the ground. The Demon advanced on him now, and put its sword to his throat.

“You cannot beat me,” growled the Demon. “The Coin is not for destroying!”

“Oh yes it is!” yelled Myvi, and before the Demon knew what was happening, with one movement she touched her sword to The Brooch then brought it up fast, taking the Demon’s head clean off its shoulders.3D TMOMT Cover

The blast of sound and light this time knocked everyone to their feet, but then receded, and faded to nothing. After a moment, Max leant up on one elbow, looked around, then felt in his pocket. The Coin was gone.

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