Procrastination and the Writer/Blogger
It’s not a four letter word – but it should be.
I actually spell the word procrastination like this: P L A N N I N G.
Sometimes I even spell it like this: R E S E A R C H.
Just Get it Done
Getting things done on time in the corporate world is essential – do it or you don’t have a job. Putting tasks off is a mine field of trouble in any occupation. But for writers and bloggers it can be disastrous. If you keep on putting tasks off you get nowhere. If you don’t post regularly no-one is going to come reading your blog and your income will dribble to nothing (if you are relying on income from your blog). For writers in the print world, if the manuscripts aren’t being finished, or submitted, they are not going to get published. Hence no income. Just get it done.
Bad habits – Good habits
The habit of procrastination is like any other habit: it can be broken. It can be changed and hopefully replaced by good habits. Here are some of my ways of overcoming procrastination:
- I keep a graph of how many hours I spend writing each day – I have set a goal for each month and for the year.
- I keep a chart showing how many words I write each day – again I have set a goal for each month and for the year.
- I keep a schedule of blog postings I make – including ideas for those postings I plan to make in the future
- I keep a list of stories and other manuscripts I have submitted to publishers
- My wife acts like a “dripping tap” reminding me about submitting manuscripts (bless her – she doesn’t call it nagging).
Now – keeping all these lists and graphs and so on could be misconstrued as a very clever cover up for my procrastination. Guilty as charged. However, all this information does keep me on track. I’ve refined the process over the years so that it takes up very little time each day and the most important thing is that it keeps me accountable to myself. I can see instantly how I am going. If I haven’t made a posting on one of my blogs for a week – it shows a big blank. It acts as a motivation to get back on track. If I haven’t submitted a story or poem to a publisher for three weeks, I need to do something about it. Just get it done.
[…] Procrastination is another monster. I’ve written about that and similar problems here and here. Maintaining a regular rhythm and momentum as a writer is important but there are times when you need “time out” to recharge the batteries. I had one of those days yesterday. I thought the relaxation would be just what I needed after a very busy full-on and productive week. I was wrong and the frustrating thing is that I don’t know why today has been so bad. […]
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