All writers have a poison of choice when it comes to distracting ourselves from the real writing.
For some, it’s Facebook, Pinterest or Angry Birds; for others, it’s that bin up in the attic that you haven’t thought of in four years but which suddenly is in desperate need of organizing.
For me, it’s the OED. The Great and Powerful Oxford English Dictionary.
My thought-process goes something like this:
“Hmm. I’ll just take a peek at the R volume.”
“You don’t need to.”
“No, no, there’s a word I’m really curious about....”
“You should be writing.”
“But I need to check if the word was even in use in 18th century England, or my whole book will be ruined. There’s no way I can wait until revision to clear this up.”
“Okay. Just a little peek.”
...an hour later:
“Um...what was your word count goal for the day?”
“And how many did you get done?”
“Now, wait, did I specify writing or reading? I definitely read 1000 words. There are some really cool etymologies in this volume! Did you know that the word ‘recoil’ is derived from the Latin word for ‘buttocks’? Think how useful that knowledge could be!”
You can see I’m trying to beat the addiction by coming clean about it:
Hi, my name is Faith. I haven’t touched a dictionary in about...8 minutes.