Last night, the topic of Lent came up in the household, and various suggestions (some plausible, some daft) were put forward as to what we each might give up. In the past, I’ve chosen such things as alcohol, bread, and chocolate (the latter, twice – during one of these choc-fasts, I visited Cadbury World….torture!). This year, I wondered if there was something more useful I could give up. Possible ideas include:
- Television. This would be relatively painless given the last episode of Lewis is tonight, and Silent Witness finished on Friday. I’m sure I could live without the property programmes for a few weeks. (Besides, I could probably catch up with everything on More4 afterwards!) But, the problem with the television is that it sits in the lounge and other members of the household might reasonably want it on, meaning I’d be forced to either sit somewhere else or wear a blindfold and earplugs in order to join my family. They could possibly see these actions as anti-social or just plain weird.
- The Internet/my iPod Touch. I’ll admit to a fair level of addiction where these are concerned. And yes, they are an easy distraction. (Look at this – I’m here writing a blog post, not doing any writing….) But I couldn’t allow my virtual presence to disappear completely for 40 days – I might miss something crucial (e.g. correspondence from an editor, or info about a forthcoming writing comp, or just important news from my friends). There’s also the usefulness of google to consider when you’re in the middle of a story and you’re not sure about some fact or other – two minutes on the internet can replace vast amounts of research using other mediums.
- Procrastination/excuses. This would be excellent. (“I must write that story, but just before that, I’ll vacuum the stairs and put a wash on. Oh, and I need to tidy my desk.”) But maybe I’ll do that next year….
I could of course give up those blessed extra spaces after a full stop!
If anyone has any brilliant suggestions for writing-specific lent ideas, I’d love to hear them.