Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Benning: Procrastination (A Parenthetical Post)

Karen Benning is one of many fine volunteers helping to pull together our first Raven Write-a-thon on April 8. The others are: Morgan Grey, Sandy Kleven, Beth Johnson, Mariah Oxford, Olga Livshin, and Lorena Knapp, as well as Andromeda and Deb. Thanks to Karen for this guest-post.

It seems to me that any and all discussion about procrastination is, itself, procrastination. So even while I am putting together this blog post (writing!), I am not working on any of my pressing writing projects (procrastinating!). Yet I am also contributing to the cause of a favorite nonprofit organization (volunteering! doing my civic duty!).

To write about procrastination is to take the great risk of repetition (plagiarizing!), since it has been written about since the heyday of Rome. And one has to wonder, is there anything that, once you start to dig into its history, doesn’t turn out to have started in Roman times? Seriously, if I had a denarius for every research project that has led me back to Rome, I would have bought a chariot by now.

Now, where was I (going off on tangents!)?

At some point I believe we must reach the point in the blog post for the transition from conflict to resolution (narrative arc!), which I have never quite been able to master (whining!).

And now for a lurching, improbable shift in voice and style (still untangling the difference!), in which you learn about Anchorage’s new solution for procrastination:

There have been bowl-a-thons, dance-a-thons, telethons and marathons, but until now there has never been, in Anchorage, a write-a-thon. The 49 Alaska Writing Center is about to change that. Come to Snow City Café on Friday, April 8 and get your write on. For 4.9 hours (get it? 49 Writers, 4.9 hours…), write, stare at your computer screen, conduct Google searches on procrastination or tangents, search for that elusive narrative arc, or develop a pile of blog posts. It will be less cheesy than a bowl-a-thon, less silly than a dance-a-thon, much less annoying than a telethon (and this blog post), and definitely less exhausting than a marathon. (Best of all, there won’t be any parentheticals.)

Wrapping it up with parenthetical-free boilerplate language:

The Raven Write-a-Thon will take place at Snow City Café in Anchorage on Friday, April 8, starting at 5 pm. The cafe will be open only to writer-participants, who will work on their own independent writing projects while being encouraged and feted with light appetizers, writing-related prizes, inspirational moments, and an after-party (10 to 11 pm) with local celebrity guests.

Registration is $10 and open now. (Click here to get started or just to look around and see who else is signed up!) Participants will be asked to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges using an online pledge system with individualized web pages. This is an all-ages event, also open to cyber-participants and people participating from home in Anchorage or anywhere across the great state of Alaska.

Thanks to our fabulous co-sponsors who have donated prizes for participants: Bear Tooth, Moose's Tooth, Snow City Cafe, Spenard Roadhouse, Title Wave Books, and Fromagio's Artisan Cheese.

2 comments:

Sue Ann Bowling said...

Oh, come on. You meant the Greeks and the Persians didn't procrastinate? Or even the Cro-Magnon hunters?

Piers said...

I've traced it back to 1500 BC, but procrastination likely arose along with agriculture, about 9.000BC. All the earliest references refer to farming. And that's from The Procrastination Equation.