Saturday, August 10
As I was killing time (I really don't like that phrase at all) I found this old article lurking in my documents. Some things never change. I am procrastinating this summer! I have this book I want to write. Well actually I have two, maybe three, in my head, but they stay there in my head. Each time I face my empty screen I click on Facebook, or g-mail or Solitare Blitz or Candy Crush. Why is that? So today I was going to start.
And here is the article I didn't need to rewrite...obviously I am procrastinating
First, I took a nap. Then I took a walk to energize my brain. By the time I returned home, it was time to think about dinner. Once again my writing time was gone.
Experts tell us to write about “what we know.” Novice writers are encouraged to select topics that are familiar I feel quite confident about my topic for this article. With more than sixty years of experience, I am an expert on procrastination.
PROCRASTINATION: is a transitive verb (according to the Webster on-line dictionary) which means to put off habitually and intentionally. The key word here is intentionally. I rationalize by telling people I do my best work under pressure. Who knows what might have happened had I written this article last week instead of last night after choir practice at 10:00.
Mentors advise us to make lists in our articles or our side bars. Those “in the know” people advocate using bullets or some similar method to draw attention to our point… thus, as the procrastination expert I offer my list.
10 BEST WAYS TO PROCRASTINATE
(In no order of importance. Some will become more important as you use them and you will soon learn which best fit your situation and personality. These methods can be used separately or combined to become more effective. Personally, I have often combined #1, #8 and #9 very effectively.)
· 1. Tell yourself you have plenty of time to finish your daily writing schedule. Particularly effective early in the morning. In my experience this is most successful between 6:00 a.m. and lunch
· 2. Make phone calls to friends you haven’t talked to for weeks. They will be so happy to hear from you that you can feel good about using this time so wisely, And during the conversation you can share your writing plans with them. Sharing is so important when you are planning to write. It also allows for encouraging or discouraging remarks from those who aren’t writers.
· 3. Clean your house. (garage, workshop) Any place that you just cleaned last week. After all, once you have it clean, you should maintain it. Self-righteousness should follow this action and you can tell yourself it was necessary.
· 4. Talk about all you plan to do with your best friend who is not a writer. (She/He probably won’t hold you accountable because this friend thinks everything you write is good.)
· 5. Organize your computer folders. Begin deleting every article that you have saved more than three copies to work at rewriting. This job should take at least two or three days and move you closer to your deadline.
· 6. Sit down for just a “few” minutes to finish a chapter in the writing book or the latest fiction that you started last night. It is so important to read what others have written particularly if it is about the craft of writing.
· 7. Check your e-mail. Follow all the links your friends suggest. Make sure you go to Facebook and Twitter. A person can spend an entire afternoon in this endeavor.
· 8. Call your mother or one of your children. This should encourage you that you really are a writer because they will want to know what you are doing and you can go into great detail about your plan. This will impress upon the family member how hard you work at writing (If you are writing a book this is even more impressive. I don’t know why.).
· 9. Make a list of your GOALS. Now this is one I am just learning which works quite well for me. Since I am new at this particular method of procrastination I often think I have finished my list until I check it over and realize I have confused myself and need to begin again. I can spend several hours working on GOALS.
· 10. Organize in several different methods. Outlines, note cards and little sticky notes are all good methods. This is trial and error. It may take several times before you find which method is best for killing time.
Please understand that this list is not written in stone. I would appreciate it if you would share any of your methods. I continue to add to my list when I find the time.