What is procrastination? Basically, it boils down to doing anything except what needs to be done. When it comes to writing, I think I’m one of the best procrastinators.
Yes, some days I will do anything except write. I have cleaned the bathroom, straightened out a closet, and the most pernicious of all, browsed the web for hours. I’ve just spent 2 days redesigning the look of this blog.Â What’s a guy to do? Maybe a swift kick in the butt would help. But then again, maybe not.
There are multiple web sites that talk about writers and procrastination, just do a Google search and you’ll find dozens. Have I looked at them? Have I read them? Ha! Read the previous paragraph again to get a hint. Have they helped? Not really.
A writer needs to get his or her butt in the chair, and fingers on the keyboard. I know, I’ve done it. With a full time job and 2 kids, I put in 3 hours a night and churned out (rejected) short story after (rejected) short story. Now I’m a stay-at-home dad. My work hours are longer, though perhaps not as tightly packed. Some days I don’t have time to breathe, while others it seems that I have more time than I’ve ever had. Yet I’m writing considerably less. Some days I’m lucky if I even get in a blog entry. What the hell?
I switched from short stories to novels. Heck, I read a lot more of them, and I enjoy them much more as well. This has added another layer of procrastination, which is even more evil. Now, I outline and research, which is no better than not writing. Still, I am able to convince myself that I am making forward progress. That eventually I will have a completed novel in my hands. Personally, I blame all that on my programming background. Do the requirements, then the design, then maybe a detailed design, then start coding. Does it work? Hell yes. Is it working for my novel? It doesn’t feel that way.
So, to repeat, what’s a guy to do? I know it’s a rhetorical question, since no one reads this blog.
Here’s my plan. I have given myself until September 22nd to finish the outline and start writing. If I don’t start by then… hmmm… some form of punishment will ensue.
I do know that writing is what I’ve wanted to do since, well, forever. I still have a story I wrote in Junior High, the earlier ones are gone somewhere, and the later ones have followed them. Yeah, a paying career took over for about 22 years, but what is my excuse now? I don’t have one. The end.