I never thought I was a procrastinator until I started my writing career. Even then, I kept putting off submitting my work for more years than I should have, always afraid of rejection. Now that I’m working on my fifth book, which is already contracted, you’d think I’d be racing toward the finish line. You’d be wrong.
Once again, I’m in the grips of major procrastination. This time it’s because I’m going into the unknown. I’ve never written a thriller/adventure/romance. My plot involves international terror cells. I don’t know much about that subject. I’ve researched it enough to feel confident, yet still I search for alternate activities to writing. I’m my own worst enemy.
My husband seems to know that better than I do. He tells me I wait until the last minute on more than just writing. For example, going on trips. I pack ahead, but on the day of departure I’m always racing against the clock to get out on time. There’s always one more thing to check before I leave.
I have also gotten good at baking, cleaning, and Christmas shopping as procrastination techniques. These activities give me a sense of accomplishment, even though I’m not accomplishing what I really need. They have the added bonus of putting my family off guard. They think I’m doing a lot, when I’m really avoiding writing.
Procrastination is a juvenile tactic. Teenagers implement it when they don’t want to do something. Children want “just one more drink” at bedtime, stalling before going to sleep. And, I guess, writers procrastinate when they’re unsure of what they are writing.
How I’m combatting my procrastination is by telling myself to write whatever comes to mind, with the option to delete. That should work, if only I can stay off social media long enough to get some writing done.
It’s hard fighting a natural tendency to delay. I’m undermining my own workability. Right now, I have lots of time to finish the book. If I keep putting it off, however, I will back myself into a corner that won’t be very easy or pleasant to get out of. Procrastination is not a habit you want to start. Believe me, I should know.