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Procrastination

August 21, 2009

I read all kinds of blog entries on how to avoid this dastardly enemy of a WIP trying to become a finished piece of literature.

I don’t see anything on the best ways to go about it. I think that’s a real shame. It is, after all, an art form all its own, and notoriously present among writers.

So, for those of you A-type personalities who wouldn’t know how to give it a rest (and sometimes we really need to) if your life depended on it, I hereby present you with Julee Malone’s Top Five Ways to Procrastinate:

5.  E-mail. You never answer them, right? You’ve got thousands of forwards about everything from dangers for women in parking lots to pass it on prayers for the troops that you haven’t even read. You can check the political ones you disagree with through Snopes and send snotty responses to the sender. That’s always fun. Then there’s the 6 month old e-mail from your sister asking how it’s going. Now’s a great time to catch up on all that! Forward that junk – and write your sister.  Guaranteed minimum of two hours of writing time wasted.

4.  Television. This really doesn’t even belong on my list. I grab the remote once a month, at most. The lion’s share of you can relate, though. When the muse is urging you and you don’t want to listen, channel surf till your eyes glaze over in front of that sick glow. Turn up the volume if that insistent pesty muse keeps beckoning to you. Infomercials and I Love Lucy are suddenly your friends! Unlimited amount of writing time wasted here.

3.  Daydreaming. This can be a big one for me. I’m writing along, and suddenly I get visions of the future, the very near future by the way, when I’m published, filthy rich, and famous. I’ve not had to struggle. My fame and fortune took less than six months! Agents and publishers loved my work from Word One. I’m on talk shows and book tours worldwide. I’m a master, I tell you! Oh, to be sure, there’s a rejection letter or two on my resume, but that’s only so I can stay connected to the little people, and when they tell me of their struggles, I smile, nod knowingly, and can honestly say “Oh yes. I’ve been there too. Keep plugging away at it, and you’ll make it!” Time wasted only limited by your imagination. You’re a writer. That means you could spend DAYS here.

2.  Reading blogs. Another biggie. I can spend hours upon hours doing nothing else – including writing. It’s all good, though, because I’m doing research! I’m learning more about my craft! One blog leads to another, which leads to another, and… well, you get the picture. Nevermind that I just keep reading and never seem to apply any of what I’ve learned to my WIP. Time wasted: at least 2-3 hours a night.

And my number one tool for procrastination:

Facebook.

Get an account if you don’t already have one. Use the excuse that you’re networking with other writers and getting yourself out there. What you’re really doing is spending time harvesting pumpkins on Farm Town, skirmishing against other dynasties in World Domination, putting out a hit on a snitch in Mafia Wars, and when you’re bored with all that, you can fritter away the time doing searches on everyone who ever went to your high school, whether they were in your class or not. Whatever happened to old Jimmy Kern anyway? I never even said hello to him in the hallway, but I wonder if he’s on Facebook? Untold hours of writing time wasted.

There you have it. That’s my best advice for not getting a single word typed on a page. Take it and run with it, and good luck!

procrastinating

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2009 5:26 pm

    Great post. I love this line “…but that’s only so I can stay connected to the little people…” Hilarious! I’m happy to say I am a veteran of all of these methods.

    Here’s an idea. Procrastinate your procrastination. When you find yourself procrastinating, decide to do it later, and write instead! I have no idea if this would work, as it just occurred to me. But it’s worth a shot!

  2. August 22, 2009 5:58 pm

    That’s an idea so crazy… it just might work!

  3. August 27, 2009 9:10 am

    Ha! All of these apply to me plus add a kid who will soon enough be a toddler. I can only imagine what trouble he’s going to get into once he’s walking.
    Also, I would have to add in the dogs. I am viciously attacked everyday when I come home from work.

    • August 27, 2009 12:11 pm

      lol yeah. you think your life as you knew it was over when he was born? Wait till he begins to walk. Then your life as you knew it is REALLY over! LOL

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