Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Procrastination As A Writing Method

Early March 2016: I have the honor of being asked to contribute to another author's book. This author is also host of a popular radio show, so it's kind of a big deal.  She asks me to write anywhere from 2,000 - 6,000 words and gives me the general idea of her theme. The deadline is only two weeks away but I tell her I will do my best.

I don't come anywhere near to trying my best.

Late March 2016: I completely miss the deadline. I have some guilt about this but use the excuse I wasn't completely clear on what specifically she wanted me to write.

Mid April 2016: The author, who again has a much bigger audience than I do so it really would benefit me to have my writing linked to hers, gets in touch with me again to say she got her editors to extend the deadline for me. She really wants my work included. The new deadline is May 26.

I promise her I will get it done.

And I do nothing.

I jot down some notes.

I decide 2,000 - 6,000 words is too vague, too much, too general.

May 8, 2016: My Mother's Day present to myself is to sneak off to Starbucks for the afternoon with nothing but my laptop, a book and my new Starbucks gift card.
My muse finally joins me and I write and write and write! This feels great! I'm not a bad writer! I can do this!

May 13 - 22, 2016: I travel to Chicago for Kid 2's boot camp graduation, return home for Kid 3's high school graduation, host a graduation party, attend Kid 4 and 6's dance recital. Writing deadline looms over me, but I am legitimately busy.

Monday May 23, 2016: I'll finish writing it tomorrow.

Tuesday May 24, 2016: I explain to the kids I need writing time and will be closing my bedroom door to get some work done. For the next few hours I: scan Facebook, watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix, scroll through pictures on my phone, check emails, scan Facebook again, check my bank balance. Finally sit down and write about 11pm. I complete the piece but decide to wait until morning for one last review before submitting it.

Wednesday May 25, 2016: Awaken 30 minutes earlier than I normally do to read what I wrote the night before, decide I am pleased with it, spell check it, and send it off.

With a full 24 hours before the deadline!

The procrastination method worked again!

But, why oh why can't I be one of those serious writers who has a daily quiet writing time, a dedicated writing office and never, ever stresses over a deadline?


  1. I'm a procrastinator, too. Rather, I either get something done immediately OR at the last minute. There is no happy medium for me. I'm also a sprint writer, and get huge chunks of writing done in relatively short periods, because it stews until I write it. It's just the way our minds work. Frustrating and hard to change.

  2. You made it though!
    I'm more of a lazy writer and need deadlines to motivate me to get it done.
    And welcome to the IWSG.

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