Thursday, June 26, 2008

Procrastination

If procrastination were a science, then I'd probably have an M.S. in it. I'm the person who procrastinates on doing the laundry--sometimes there's hand-washing or shopping involved. I procrastinate on cleaning my room (I delay almost anything to do with chores).

When working on a story, I fiddle, I fidget, I surf, I wear myself out. I eventually get something written and I have weird periods of intense production, but when I'm working my way through a plot, I take the long, meandering, scenic route.

I wish I had the discipline the way Nora Roberts (or substitute famous author name) does. I think she once said that she writes every day at 9am and whether she's inspired or not, she's sitting there at 9am, ready to type. Me, I'll say, "Oh, I'm going to work on my book today," and then I'll sit and I'll do "research". I'll play games online. I'll fret about work. I'll email. I'll think of the cleaning that I've been avoiding for the past two weeks...

Thankfully, the writing is more motivating than the cleaning. I'd rather continue to procrastinate on tidying up than procrastinating on writing my book. I just wish procrastination wasn't so tempting.

I'm getting better as far as writing. Romance Diva's chatroom helps a lot with this as I can pretend I'm procrastinating and actually go in and get some writing done. Maybe that's the trick? Tell my procrastinating mind that I'm really just going to have fun, avert boredom, be silly or chat for a few minutes and then I actually use the time to get a few pages done?

Hmmm....I wonder if that would work with getting the bathroom done...Nah. When has scrubbing toilets ever been fun?

5 comments:

Barefootbelle said...

Are you sure you're not my long lost twin? I can procrastinate anything. I have clothes needing buttons sewn back on for years. My husband finally gave up nagging me about cleaning and started doing it himself. So far I haven't been able to get out of laundry that way. He keeps a larger supply of underwear on hand. I'm currently sitting on about 6 half finished manuscripts. The plots worked out - in my head - but I can't seem to get it on paper.

RD Chat works great and so does disconnecting myself from the internet. Good luck. If you find the definitive answer before me, let me know.

Belle Scarlett said...

Top ten ways my husband can always tell when I'm about to start a writing jag.

10) The checkbook is balanced, to the penny.
9) The house is sparkling
8) The cat is groomed.
7) Even the junk drawer is organized.
6) The DVDs are alphabetized with a star rating and cross referenced by both director and star.
5) I start cooking complicated dishes from scratch, like smoked chicken and toasted pine nut ravioli with tomato basil cream sauce and homemade creme brulee.
4) I paint the hallway.
3) Then the bedroom, because it looks shabby next to the hallway.
2) The bathroom enjoys some new grout.
1) He finds me detailing his car.

Bottom line: Being a writer has practically turned me into Martha Stewart (minus the prison record).

Time to go write...anyone need their attic cleaned out first?

XO,
Belle Scarlett

Vivienne Westlake said...

Dear Barefoot Belle,

The RD chats have helped me a lot! That's how I actually finished my last novella.

Belle Scarlett,

You made me laugh!!
(not that I don't laugh whenever we chat)

I have so many things to do this month and I'm dragging my heels...

Penbleth said...

I'm not a big procrastinator, that would involve me doing something today. Last Minute Sally, that's me.

Vivienne Westlake said...

Penbleth,
In school, I was the one who tried to finish my essays early and I was generally well prepared with homework and assignments, but as I'm getting older, I find I am not as quick at turning writing projects around. Of course, I have more responsibilities than I did then, so maybe that's my excuse?

My friend was a last minute Sally and she used to always say, "If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done." LOL.