Procrastination comes in various devious forms. Some are blatant, others more subtle. According to Webster’s online dictionary:
Definition of PROCRASTINATE
I wonder whether research, outlining, editing, etc. can be considered procrastination even though these activities are necessary in order to create a solid story.It does delay the actual writing process but writing can’t just be about the physical typing, can it? So, I propose there are two types of procrastination:
- reading (trade magazines, literature in the same genre, reference books)
- field trips
- reading (cereal boxes, Archie comics, the telephone directory, etc.)
- cleaning the house/apartment/studio/car
- sleeping in
- Internet surfing/checking e-mails/Twittering/Pinning/Facebooking
- grocery shopping
- watching movies/tv shows/The Price is Right
I’ve restructured my life for the year in order to accommodate the vast amount of procrastination and PROCRASTINATION I’ll be doing. Why fight the fact that when I come home from work I’m lucky to have the energy to make supper? Why would I continue to beat my head against the wall after finally understanding that I don’t work well at night or in the morning or any time I don’t have at least 6 hours of uninterrupted time to write?
I’m fine giving up my weekends to write as long as I have my weekdays free to enjoy lazy mornings and quiet evenings and social events. I don’t have the stress of squeezing a thousand words in somewhere or run the risk of really getting into things just before having to leave for work. I want to have some time away from tinkering with the story to let it marinate in my imagination so that by the time Friday morning rolls around, I can’t wait to get started because pieces have magically started falling into place.
Procrastinating can be healthy for the creative process but you have to be smart about it. Are you able to keep up with your weekly t.v. schedule involving 5 different shows as they air? Or do you ned to record them and binge on t.v. every Friday night? Does it knock you out of your momentum or do you finish your shows fresh and creative? How about trying that new cookie recipe your sister-in-law sent over. How does that fit in your schedule? Maybe as those little morsels of deliciousness are cooling you discover your cranky-old-man detective has a back story as a pastry chef in 1920’s Paris. Or maybe you have snacks for the next week. You’ve procrastinated but in the process uncovered a vital piece of your story.
You never who when inspiration will strike or what will lead to a discovery. So, go ahead and procrastinate. Get out of the story every so often and live your life. Come back to it when your alloted time for these shenanigans is up and the schedule says you’re to start writing again. Giving yourself a break is necessary. Who knows, you may discover that you don’t need it after all.