Friday, April 5, 2019

Why We Procrastinate as Writers--A New Perspective

One reason I take classes or go to writing conferences or join a writing group is to set artificial deadlines for myself. I know, after years and many books, that although I'm fairly disciplined with my writing, I need external accountability to get a big project done.  No matter that I set goals, and often meet them, writing a book is a long commitment that is easily sidetracked. 

Like most of you, I can procrastinate like nobody's business when I want to.  With me, it shows up as either cleaning or food. I don't usually go in for internet or Netflix comas, but let me loose with a bag of chips, and watch out. 

I want to get my books written, though, even when I can't stand what I'm writing (a bad patch) or I've gotten hard feedback (this week, some came my way, and it was tough to hear). When my enthusiasm fails it causes the momentum to stall and I can easily talk myself out of getting back to the book.

So the key is keeping our fire alight, keeping our belief in ourselves and our creativity alive.

Do you cultivate this, in your writing life--find people who believe in you? After my bad feedback this week, I went to my writing partner, who does believe in me.  I also know she'll give me the straight stuff, if something is off.  The feedback didn't sound 100 percent accurate to me, so I wanted to get a second opinion.  And I got it.  It came wrapped in encouragement and enthusiasm, and it soothed all those hurt places.

I didn't procrastinate anymore; I jumped back in.
Here's a different perspective about this confusing process of procrastination, which may be tied to mood (or belief in self, enthusiasm, a positive perspective). Given my recent experience and unexpected stall-out, I was interested to read it. It's from the New York Times.  Click here to read. (Thanks to Mary K., who attended my recent retreat in Santa Fe, for the link.)

No comments:

Post a Comment