Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An expert's view of procrastination

I never thought of myself as a procrastinator until I tried writing a novel. Now, as the years have rolled by, I can find a lot of good reasons why I don't get that butt-in-chair time, but I'm also smart enough to know there's still time for writing if I really want to do it. In my paying jobs, I wrote a dozen different projects in the course of a week, and I learned not to wait for some airy muse to float in and dump a bucket of inspiration on me. I thought, because I wrote all day long in a paying job, that I would do that at home. HA!

Every time I raise my eyes from the monitor, I see the dust I need to get at, the mess that needs straightening, and the laundry spilling over in the baskets in my office closet. My office is the staging area for nearly everything that needs doing in the house, which makes it a nest of distractions for anyone willing to be distracted. That means me.

I hear my child watching TV when she's supposed to be finishing her lunch. Therefore, I have to stop occasionally to offer input on her activities, guidance on her assignments, and answers to questions that seem to arise from nowhere.

The only cure for procrastination is to face the fact that we are doing it, sit ourselves at our computers, and start writing. I will not try to prime the pump by typing "I will not procrastinate" a hundred times--that's just more procrastination. I will write the next sentence, the next paragraph, the next page...you get the idea. The mess will always be there, so get to it after you've written the number of words you've set as your goal each day. Borrow my motto: Dust is my friend.

1 comment:

  1. Haha! I love it! Just remember, "A clean house is the sign of a boring person."