Monday, May 4, 2015

The Procrastinating Writer

Photo by Bryan Furnace
It seems like I always have the best of intentions.

Unfortunately, my intentions and what I can accomplish in a given amount of time do not always mesh.

I’ve been facing this problem a lot lately. I think it goes back to being slightly-overly optimistic…okay, maybe exceedingly so. I think I can accomplish a project in two weeks. It ends up taking three. Or five. Or seven. (Or worse—more!)

Some of the time, it’s my own fault. I don’t realize I have a ton of appointments, as is the life of a mother with a child with a rare disease, which cuts dramatically into the amount of time I actually have available—and decreases my focus (sometimes) when I am able to work. S

Sometimes, things come up: play dates for my daughter, or she drags her feet on her schoolwork (since we homeschool.)

Or we get up so late in the morning that I feel obligated to take my husband lunch (since I didn’t get it fixed before he left for work.)

Then there are the times when I’m just my own worst enemy. I find ways to procrastinate.

Facebook is a big source.

So are their games—I must admit, I’m slightly addicted to one right now and I find myself bumming over there whenever I don’t know what else to do. Five minutes here, ten minutes there…it really adds up.

Then there’s the things I do that act like things that are good for me—learning a new skill. Or relearning a skill, as the case is currently. Signing up on Duolingo to refresh the French I learned in college…that’s a good thing, right? I keep telling myself that. And it’s good to be bettering myself. But doing a lesson every day is thirty minutes I could be working on writing.

Or the fact I just got a new computer, so am on the learning curve for not only Windows 8.1 (from Vista), but the latest version of Word and Scrivener. Oh boy. Lucky me. (Insert sarcastic font here.)

So when I sit back and wonder just why my next book isn’t out yet, I can point at all of these things. Some of them are legitimate—learning where everything is in Word and Scrivener has been a headache, and I kind of wish I’d put off my conversion by about a month. And we wrapped up kindergarten early (Yippee!!) Although we’re planning to start First Grade in June. (How am I old enough to have a first grader anyway?) But did I need to play my Facebook game as much as I have? No. Did I need to start relearning French? Now? Nope. Am I going to stop? Probably not because I am enjoying it despite the fact their grammar is about to give me an aneurysm.

But I do know one thing…

Procrastination, thy name is Liberty.

Question for you: Are you like me and find ways to procrastinate on your writing, and know you’re doing it in the moment? Or are you more the type who under promises, but over delivers, because you know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses?
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