We Love to Write, So Why Do We Procrastinate?

I haven’t had a chance to ramble on at you in a while, so I thought I’d spent some time doing that today. It’s one less thing to check off my to-do list. Oh, forget I said that. My to-do list isn’t that lame that I’d have “ramble at readers” on it. Or maybe I just listed it so I wouldn’t have to do those other things on my list like clean the house and do laundry. And I still get to check something off and feel productive!

Ok, so I admit, I’m procrastinating.

Speaking of procrastinating, that’s what this post is about. (Hmm…what a convenient transition…it’s like maybe I did that on purpose. I knew there was a good reason for writing “ramble at readers” on my to-do list!).

How do you keep from procrastination on that wonderful story idea that you have stuck in your head?

No really…anyone have an answer for this? I’m open to suggestions here.

Alright, so I guess it wouldn’t be fair to make you write the post for me, but by asking that question it gave me a little more time to stall and keep from tackling the extremely hard task of writing this post.

Oh wait. I’m I procrastination again?

So you get the idea. It’s really easy to procrastinate, even if the thing we are avoiding is something we love to do.

Why is that? I mean if we love doing it why is it so hard to, you know, do it?

 

It takes time.

We may love to write, but we find ourselves so busy that when we finally do have some spare time, we decide we’re too tired to write or that since we’ve worked so hard we shouldn’t have to work more (because writing is work even if it’s something you love to do).

(This is a slideshow of me writing this post. I resemble Snoopy just a tad, don’t I? Don’t be alarmed. I don’t look like a cartoon dog in real life. It was just the lighting.)

 

We’re afraid it won’t be good enough.

We’ve read so many gripping plots and unforgettable characters that the plots and characters in our stories seem hopelessly unsavable in comparison. Our plot is more like a tangled web created by a blind spider crippled with arthritis and our characters seem more lifeless than a zombie, a graveyard, and all the people Bryan Mills tracked down combined.

We know our writing is full of mistakes and that deflates our motivation. Why put so much work into that story when there are already trillions of books out there?

 

We want to take a nap.

Let’s face it. Sometimes we’re just LAZY. It isn’t that we’re too busy with work, school, and leveling up that character on your favorite MMORPG. And it isn’t because we’re so in awe of other writers that our fingers are paralyzed and we can no longer type. We simply choose to put playing games on our phone, browsing YouTube, or taking a nap ahead of writing.

 

Now that we have some reasons why we procrastinate, how about some ways to overcome them? You didn’t think I would just leave you with a bunch of excuses why you can’t write did you?

 

We can make time.

Sure, we think that there isn’t enough time in our day or week to write, but is that really true? (I’m plugging my ears so I can’t hear all of your excuses about how busy you are…la la la…I can’t hear you). For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t have enough time, it’s that we haven’t set enough time aside for writing. In other words, we wait until the end of the day when we’re about to fall into bed before we think about the fact that we have this great story we’re supposed to be working on. Do we start writing? No! Who would want to get out of the bed to write?

If we don’t plan writing time, it doesn’t get done. It doesn’t matter if you can’t set aside two or three hours every day, just pick a certain time every day or even every week and make that your writing time.

Otherwise, you will end up doing this all week and it will drive you crazy.

 

Don’t worry about being good.

This may seem counterproductive. Why write something if it isn’t going to be any good? But sometimes we need to let go of our critical side and tell ourselves it’s ok to write crappy stuff. It doesn’t matter if our writing doesn’t sound like ________ (insert favorite genius author here). We won’t get any better unless we write, and we won’t get any writing done if we keep comparing ourselves to people who have been writing a whole lot longer than we have.

It’s perfectly ok to suck. No one made the best seller list with their first draft.

 

Just do it.

Humm…where have I heard that before? 😉 Seriously though this works for writing too. We’ve set aside some time for writing and we’ve given yourself permission to write crappy stuff, but we still don’t want to write.

I’ll let you in on some profound knowledge: an amazing trick that will get you writing and keep that procrastination away. Do it anyway!

Quit spending time on Twitter or avoiding your desk completely because it makes you feel guilty that you aren’t writing. Sit down and type. One. Word. At. A. Time.

 

I promise, if you do these things procrastination will run away like a vampire at sunrise (unless they’re Stephenie Meyer’s vampires of course).

And if they don’t, print this out and put it in every room of your home.

That’s all the advice I have to offer. What about you? (Yes, I’m still trying to get you to write this  post for me, but hey I did most of it right?). What have you found that works best against procrastination?

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “We Love to Write, So Why Do We Procrastinate?

  1. That’s a good take on procrastination. I think procrastinating trait is innate in humans. We all tend to procrastinate sometimes even with very urgent matters, until when we are left with little or no time to tackle the tasks. I wrote a post on procrastination which you may want to read. Thanks for sharing your own perspective on this ‘killer bad habit’. Cheers!

    https://simpledimplesite.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/guilty-or-not-guilty/

    Like

    1. A lot of people like to wait until the night before things are due because that rush of urgency gives them the motivation to finally do it. I think the key is to find something else that will motivate us before the last minute.
      Thanks for reading! I’ll be sure to check out your post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very right. I fall among that set of people who work under pressure at the last minute. But, it’s not the best method to adopt so am learning to do things in good time. Thanks Megan. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do the same thing. Not so much with projects I’m excited about, but I wait until the last minute when it’s something I really don’t like to do. We’re all learning! 🙂

        Like

    2. This was something I really needed to read. I have a terrible habit of procrastinating, and this wonderful piece provides a great way of how to overcome it with knowledge and humor. :] I believe this will help me overcome those restrictive thoughts that come with procrastination.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am going to print this, since I thought you where talking about me and only ME. Pick a time or a day and dedícate it to my writing instead of shifting through so many post in wordpress. Then I say, back to my story yet I´m not in the mood or feel that I´m too tired to write. Organisation issues for sure.

    Like

    1. So glad this helped you. 🙂 I procrastinate by scrolling through wordpress posts too. It’s so easy to do! Especially becuase it’s WORDPRESS. Reading other people’s posts makes me feel like I’m doing something writing related because I’m reading other people’s stories or tips about writing. I have to remind myself that reading about writing isn’t actually writing.
      Good luck chasing the procrastination away!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many of us can identify with this! In fact, I procrastinated 2 years before finally starting my blog because I needed it to be perfect before I started. So in December I finally just started… and I am so thankful I did! I realise perfection is a work in progress. So I agree with your advice: Do it anyway! Great post, and thanks for reminding me that procrastination just stands in the way of getting on with it!

    Like

    1. I’m so glad I could help! Perfection is probably my biggest reason for procrastination. What I have planned in my head is so great and I want it to be just right, which makes starting seem so daunting.
      Good for you for starting your blog! 🙂

      Like

  4. It’s good to hear from you. Maybe that helps procrastination–our interest in companioning.

    When it comes to writing, I break procrastination by writing. I write silly stuff. Stuff I’ll probably delete or file away and not look at again. But I am writing. And the writing will lead me back (or forward) to where (and what) I should be writing.

    That’s what freewriting is for. You’re writing whatever, but you are writing. Allowing ourselves to discover meaning in the writing also helps. I have a friend who must know everything before she starts. And so she has some real trouble starting.

    Writing aside (or added in), sometimes venting helps. Along with chocolate (or, for me, coffee). If you’ve done any venting here, has it helped? If not, maybe more chocolate’s needed. Or marshmallows. Or something good, something a treat.

    Whatever you write (I’m still very much enjoying the Stone story), I’m glad to know you’re there. And here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always good to procrastinate by doing something writing related. Even if it isn’t what you are actually supposed to be working on, at least you are keeping your writing skills sharp. I tend to spend time reading about writing when I don’t feel like actually writing. Then at least I’m learning about writing. And chocolate always helps! 🙂
      Well thank you! I’m glad that you are there to give such support. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m happy to support the work you do. I like the idea (and the practice) of doing something related, if not the actual thing. We can learn more widely about the thing itself. And there’s chocolate.

        Liked by 1 person

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