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Monday, October 11, 2010

Jumpstart Monday // writer's procrastination

Sometimes we writers say we can't write because of "writer's block." Uh huh.

Oh, I'm the only one? Okay then, I'll just speak for myself. When I'm working on a writing or editing project, I'm highly focused and on task. When my children were young, it used to really get on my nerves when they'd be like, "Mumz, I'm hungry" or "Mumz, can you help me do my homework?" or my favorite, "So what you doing, Mumz?" (Hip hop children. Their grandmother is G-Ma.) They didn't care what I was doing when they were playing with their friends, but now they need my attention?

Getting started on the project, well, that's a whole different story. I will allow a million things to distract me. I'll run to the thrift or the flea even though I don't need anything. I'll make up up urgent errands. I'll find sites and YouTube videos that are just soooo fascinating. I'll wash the dishes. Anything.

Is it just me or is procrastination more stress-inducing than the actual work?
I saw this quote today and it really struck me.

"When you choose a behavior, you choose the consequences." Dr. Phil McGraw 
Most of the time, procrastination is a behavior that leads to nowhere. Writer's procrastination leads to no writing getting done.

On the other hand... If you can be disciplined about it, procrastination can, at times, lead to new ideas about your project. If you really have been stuck (and not just making excuses for not writing), goofing off, doing something completely different, can lead to delightful revelations. This happens to me all the time.

You have to be disciplined about it, though, and honestly, I'm not always that disciplined. The other day I looked up and it was 4:00 in the afternoon – and I had not written not one word. 

What will always pull me back to a project, even if I have to stare at a blank screen or sheet of paper is the DEADLINE and the $$. If I don't do the work, I don't get paid. And mumz needs a new pair of kitten heeled boots. 

Time to get to work.

Donna Marie

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