I often vacillate between thinking  I should find difficult things to do for discipline’s sake and flirting with the idea it’s possible to find a life entirely devoid of the unpleasant.

But now thanks to the American productivity blogs (to which I might be a little addicted), I’ve learnt the useful term “eating frogs” to describe what I’ve been doing today.

Everybody has unpleasant things to do. JK Rowling has staff, a castle and Ian Rankin as a neighbour, but she still has to read her Twitter trolls and work out whether she’ll respond. Or listen to heart-rending stories and decide where she’ll give her money.

There is some controversy as to whether you eat frogs first, or leave them until you’ve momentum in your day. I tend to leave mine until they’re passing their expiry date. They’re usually about to go off by Thursday.

They tend to be housework and admin (and at the moment running-related). My toads, as I think of the stuff I really hate, are making phone calls, and after that emails I don’t know what to do with.

The interesting thing about frogs and toads is they look really unpleasant on the plate, I might worry about choking on something that size and texture, but they have a surprisingly nice after-taste. Today I found the last few days’ dirty cups, separated washing from lego and went for a run along the prom. Of course, I feel great and legitimately allowed now to write with my next chunk of available time.

I can’t remember what age I was when I decided I wanted to be a writer, but it had nothing to do in my mind with handwriting. Forming letters used to hurt my hand. I still associate the smell of ink with my italic pen scraping and digging into the page in junior school. But the writing I used to avoid is now a pleasure- the gratification to delay while I count frogs and work out which one I should stomach first.


(featured image by LiquidGhoul at English Wikipedia)




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