I’ve been discussing inspiration quite a bit lately. Now, however, is the far less appealing other side of the coin: procrastination.
It’s like right now. I always write my posts before the fact and then schedule them to post.
Well, I sat here tonight (Sunday) after typing a title for this post and then watched a movie on Netflix for a few hours (a semi-unplanned detour, since I did turn it on in the first place).
I’ve had it bad lately, friends. Different writers call if different things:
- Writer’s Block (don’t believe it! Just write random words until you are freed as if Michelangelo himself chipped away at the block)
- Idea Thieving Plot Gremlins (trap them and put them to work in a story of their own)
- The “Real World” (as if such a place really exists. Back to writing!)
- A Writing Break (don’t wear yourself out writing, but do write)
- Feeling Lazy (I’ll admit it. I have those moments, too…)
- “I’m just not in the mood to write” (Read! Do something to find your next river of inspiration)
- Netflix (If anyone asks, it’s “research”)
It all comes back to procrastination. That, in turn, comes in all sorts of different forms.
Take this last week, for example. Technically, I was procrastinating instead of working on “Arts, Crafts, and Zombies“.
It was a mix of a few of the bullet points above. But also, to be fair, I was technically being productive.
My method of procrastination in this case was updating this WordPress site. A lot of playing around with the structure and setup. I added pages, menus, and, in general, learned more about how the site functions. Sprinkled on top, for good measure, was a precise mixture of poor time management and a love of making thing look pretty.
A very dangerous–even hazardous!– concoction, I assure you.
It was one of those, “This is a short story so it doesn’t need any title art but I’m going to do it anyway instead of working on the actual story itself because the about for the unfinished story has to match the look of the rest of the page” kinds of scenarios.
In the end, I did finish the rough draft of the story so I could send it off to a few lovely friends to comment on (you know who you are, you amazing people). And hey, look! This site looks a little bit nicer than it did at the beginning of last week.
However, it is still a WIP (Work In Progress).
Sort of like my novel, Dythoids. Again, I was technically being productive by writing a (unrelated) short story, and then, in turn, working on the website.
Beware a terrible side effect of procrastination: the ability to make many excuses as to why you are not writing what you should be working on.
To overcome this monster that all writers are captured by, find something that can pushing you back toward your projects, something that can once again make the pen mightier than the sword so you can slay the monster. Here are some ideas:
- Idea Bubble Charts
- Random Word Association
- A Writing Buddy/Group (to bounce ideas around or to swap feedback)
- Write Through the Pain (clean it up/delete it later)
So, to finish up this Labor Day post, it’s your turn, friends! How do you refer to your periods of procrastination? How to you push through these times?
(Photo by Courteney Levet. Cover for “Arts, Crafts, and Zombies” made by Courteney Levet using Canva)