Friday, October 28, 2011

The Smart Writer's Guide to Procrastination

     Instead of my usual Friday Five post, I've decided to shine the light on a few instances when I've caught myself behaving badly as a writer this week. I'm a firm believer of BIC (Butt-In-Chair), thanks to Jane Yolen and her prolific writing life. But for some reason, it didn't work for me this week. I lost my focus. Admission is the first step to recovery, right?
     Anyway, I had an agenda this past Monday -- I was supposed to finish a rough draft of a non-fiction picture book which I've wanted to write for awhile. My intention was to have this draft done so it could 'stew' during November while I took part in NaNoWriMo. Ideally, I'd like to take it to a January workshop for some feedback. Well, it didn't happen. Instead, I found myself:
  1. Cleaning out my writing files. I found a lot of article clips for story ideas that I'd forgotten about. Also came across many form rejection letters. I'm not sure why I decided to keep them. There's nothing useful in them, so they went into the recycling bin.
  2. Dusting the bookshelves. The 'Dust Me' message from my daughter had collected a new layer of dust! Not a good sign...
  3. Started to categorize and ALPHABETIZE the bookshelves. Okay, this is really pathetic. I realized this after I got through the chapter books and was working on the middle grades so I stopped. It's not a bad idea in theory, but still.
  4. Going through my recipe box and cookbooks for Christmas cookie recipes. 
  5. Making suggested changes to a MG manuscript so it can go out on submission.
     The good news is that, with the exception of #4, everything at least relates to writing. The bad news? My Monday agenda is now my weekend agenda. Procrastination has always been a problem for me, especially without hardcore deadlines.
     Do you procrastinate? How do you stay focused? And by the way, if you have a really great holiday cookie recipe, send it along!


  1. I procrastinate a lot. Hence NaNo :-)

  2. I can no longer see the Dust Me messages :)

    Good luck with NaNo, that's sure to kick butt!

  3. I would not call your week procrastination week. I’d call it wise, healthy, and down-right productive. Mine, on the other hand… well, I had a ‘reason.’ Next time another reason pops up, I’ll look at your post again and follow suit.

  4. @ Sarah: Exactly!
    @ Joanna: Too funny! Thanks for the good wishes.
    @ Mirka: Saw the reason for your unproductive week on your blog. That is so frustrating, but it was out of your hands! Hope you have a better week this coming one.

  5. I am the queen of procrastination I'm afraid. And when it comes to writing it's usually because I'm afraid of something - afraid I won't be able to do it right, or well enough, or that I won't do the best job with an idea I feel sure has merit. If you haven't written it yet, it could still be good. Twisted, I know :) I always say, when vacuuming seems like a good idea, I know I'm in a stuck place writing-wise :)

  6. During the week, I'm really good about not procrastinating. The weekend is a little different because I have more distractions.


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