Insecure Writers Support Group: procrastination

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"Let's rock the neurotic writing world!" Alex J Cavanaugh

It’s time for this month’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group post! First one for 2012 – whoop whoop! πŸ™‚

I have a confession to make. Lean in so I can whisper it in your ear. That way, not everyone will hear. Okay, here goes…

I’m a procrastinator.

Phew, feels so good to just put that out there.

Now let me explain. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I am a hard worker, both at work and with my writing. But I don’t necessarily always expend my energy in the right places. If something seems particularly hard, I’ll put it off and keep myself busy with other tasks. For example, when writing, I might edit an existing scene rather than plough ahead and write the tricky scene that I’m not quite sure how to handle. And at work, I might file my emails or do my time sheets rather than start brainstorming how to write a difficult report.

And while I’m putting off that difficult task, I’m usually worrying about it in the back of my mind, building it up to be even harder than it is in reality. Quite often, once I get my act together and start the tricky task, it turns out to be not nearly as hard as I’d imagined. Which makes me wonder why I ever put it off in the first place!

So I’m making a New Year’s resolution: no more procrastinating. Whenever I realise that I’m putting something off, I will call myself on it and tackle the task. Bring it on, I will say! So that’s the plan. Feel free to ask me in a few months how I’m going with it, because I may need a friendly reminder every now and again! πŸ™‚

How about you? Are you a procrastinator? How do you stop yourself from putting things off? Have you set yourself any writing-related New Year’s resolutions? (or non-writing-related ones, I’m interested in those too!)

P.S. Don’t forget to support other insecure writers!



Filed under Fear, Insecure Writers Support Group, Procrastination, Writers, Writing

37 responses to “Insecure Writers Support Group: procrastination

  1. JessB

    Oh Cally, I feel your pain! I am a terrible procrastinator, but I don’t even do other stuff! I just hide on the couch and watch The West Wing.

    So that’s one of my resolutions this year – get the writing done. I want to write one post a week for my blog. I actually want to write two, but I figure I can always go up!

    My best strategy is be engaged and think of the rewards. When I want to get the dishes done, I tell myself what I can bake with all those clean bowls and spoons. When I want to get writing done, I remind myself how fun it will be, and how much everyone will love my blog (they will, right?).

    I really like your blog Cally, and I’m feeling enthused about my own. But right now, I’m going to write a cover letter for a job application – great rewards there!!!

    • Hehehe, well I’ve heard The West Wing is a good show. At least it’s not My Gypsy Wedding or something similar! Best of luck with your blog post goal and with your job application. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! πŸ™‚

  2. I am TOTALLY a procrastinator! In fact there are some (me) who call me the Queen of Procrastination! I’m glad to know I’m in good company πŸ™‚ And I’m going to try to tackle that a bit this year by declaring certain times of day when I don’t look at my inbox and allow myself to get easily distracted answering emails and reading blog posts that just came in. We’ll see how I do πŸ™‚

    • I had to tackle my procrastination tendencies already today. A difficult task at work… In 100% honesty I did procrastinate a little bit but not as long as usual. Baby steps!

      Best of luck with tackling your own procrastination. I’ll call you on it if you answer my emails/comments too quickly. πŸ˜‰

  3. Ha. I’m the epitome of a “productive procrastinator”. If I don’t want to do something/am dreading doing something I’ll find something else to do. It’s not always as important as the initial task, but it needs to be done. I actually told my boss to call me out on it (with the warning it may piss me off a bit lol).

    As for writing? Well. We won’t talk about that. … oh look, it’s time to go to work ::whistles innocently::

  4. I unpacked the dishwasher, went to gym, hung up two loads of laundry, and wrote a blog post. I’m EXCELLENT at efficient procrastination! Someone I work with calls it creative avoidance – I like that term better πŸ™‚ Good luck with the New Year’s resolution!

    • So what you were putting off? Editing? Writing? Your day does sound very productive otherwise! I like the term creative avoidance too. It has the word creative in it. Shiny… πŸ˜€

  5. I think everyone is a procrastinator about something. Sometimes you just have to keep thinking of the goal. I also like the term “creative avoidance.” LOL.

  6. I’m a procrastinator like you. I will do something else (typically work related to some extent) to avoid what I really should be doing. My goal is to stop procrastinating so much.

  7. I hear you. I’m a procrastinator. I put off things until the last minute, and I really don’t fight that urge all that much.

  8. Good luck with your procrastination! My New Year’s resolution is to quit drinking so much Diet Coke. It’s been my resolution for the last 3 years so I don’t expect to accomplish it.

    • Eeek. I’m more of a Coke Zero girl myself, but I’m thinking of stopping drinking that given the stories about brain tumours. Not sure if they’re true but I’m sure it’s not good for me regardless. I don’t drink it that often anyway, a couple of cans per week maybe? I’m guessing your Diet Coke addiction is a bit stronger? πŸ˜‰

  9. Well … I’d like to leave comment, but I, too, am a procrastinator. So, maybe I’ll come back tomorrow or the next day and leave a comment then.


    Great post!

  10. I am the complete opposite – I will plan things out weeks, even months ahead of time, which often has me stressing about things before they happen and probably didn’t warrant the stress in the first place. Fun post! New follower πŸ™‚

  11. I’m a procrastinator, I admit it. If I cant work out how a scene should work I end up reading other people’s blogs and comfort myself that its research into the art of writing. πŸ™‚ See procrastinating and delusional at the same time! I think that needs skill. LOL

  12. Isn’t procrastination the first requirement in the writer’s job description? lol Yes, even this week where I’m swamped with deadlines & things to get done, I’ve diverted attentions to a future book cover for a story I haven’t written yet. At least I haven’t let myself do more than think about it yet. If i’m good, I can mess around later.

    • I find that’s a good way to stop me from procrastinating – plan a reward that I will get once I reach my set goal. Doesn’t work so well with the really scary jobs though! Hope you meet your deadlines. πŸ™‚

  13. Yes, I definitely do procrastinate on the tough stuff – in fact, I’ve been letting lesson 3 of my revision course drag on and on just because filling out these index cards seems to drain my energy so much that I shy away from even getting started.

    But timeslices have come to the rescue – I’m making some good headway just by putting in 20-30 minutes a day so that I can mark an ‘E’ for editing on my brand-new 2012 calendar!!

  14. I am one of the world’s biggest. I am like you not lazy but have a bad habit of putting the hard stuff off. I have swore in the upcoming year to become more productive writing wise. We will have to see how it goes. Good luck and hope you have a wonderful day.

  15. Oh yeah, I have this gene! I do agree with you there are ways around it.
    I also am doing the reward thing. I have to conquer so many items on the
    “To Do” list…I have a long one. I think setting a timer for activities helps me.
    Also circling the top 5 and doing the worst one first. The rest of the day is easier…I don’t always do that, but I am working on it~
    Nice to meet you! Happy New Year~

  16. Oh sure! I’ve been putting off starting my third book for months because I had no ideas for a storyline. I finally created a rough outline and now I’ve begun.
    Here’s to neither of us putting things off!

  17. Mind if I join you? I didn’t use to procrastinate as much as I do now; I still try not to put things off, but I’m doing less as quickly as I should.

  18. Hey, Cally! Happy new year!! Here’s my thoughts on procrastination: some of us just work better under pressure. Certain things I procrastinate cuz I know the pressure will squeeze out the best I can give. Writing stories is not one of them…. they take so much time. But reading stories is a big one for me. I put it off til I have to read it all in one sitting and I think I get so much more out of it that way… laundry is another one… putting it off til I have nothing to wear helps me get those clothes the cleanest they’ve ever been. lol πŸ˜‰

    • I love reading books all in one sitting. If only we could do that more often!

      And laundry. Ugh. I hate laundry. Just ask my husband! You might be interested to know that here in Aus we usually refer to the laundry as ‘the washing’!

      Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

  19. Quilty and convinced that my productive procrastination has writing benefits, It is an opportunity to think through plot and character descriptions. I can say it works well.

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