Friday, April 11, 2014

Procrastination: Friend or Foe?

Some days I just don't feel like writing. Yes, I can hear that voice in my head: But real writers force themselves, make themselves sit down and put something on the page. Anything on the page. Every day.

Does writing a Facebook status count? I mean, I did write something. How about Twitter? Oops, can't use that excuse, since I haven't updated my Twitter status in a long time. Okay, what about an email? A long email. One that sums up what's been going on my life for the last week or so to friends I haven't written in a while. That should count.

Despite what anyone says, procrastination isn't always easy. I mean, there's the guilt. Lots of guilt. Why didn't I write today? Because I felt that doing two or three loads of laundry should take priority? Or maybe the bathroom needed cleaning? Or I had to work on the taxes (oh, can't use that excuse, since I submitted everything to the accountant two months ago). And then there's the library book I put on hold that just happened to be available this week. I only have two weeks to read it, so I have to get started. Now.

How can any of those things be more important than sitting at my keyboard creating fictional worlds?

Maybe it's because I finally finished up the Manuscript from Hell and am feeling a bit like a vacation from writing. That book took a lot out of me, although it's been done for a couple of months now and is out in the world waiting to see if an editor likes it enough to publish it, so that's not a great excuse.

Maybe it's because I've been trying to work out what to work on next. I have about 60 pages in what I call my Suburban Mom Thriller, and I do want to go back to that. I re-read what I've got and I like it, but I still need to work out some plot things in it, so I'm using that as excuse. And in the meantime, I have revisited an idea for a possible new series, but while I've got a nugget of an idea, I have no plot and no well-formed idea of character yet. I also need to do some serious research before I can develop either, and I'm not a huge fan of research. I like to just make it up as I go along, but this one needs research and I can't fudge it.

So while I'm working all this out in my head, I'm not writing. I look at my laptop across the room while I play yet another level of Jelly Splash, check Facebook, see if anyone besides Macy's and William Sonoma has sent me an email, decide that it's time to clip the cats' claws.

 Do you procrastinate?