Monday, August 21, 2006

Procrastination




I've spent the past three days revising my newest work-in-progress. I should have started this almost two weeks ago, but one thing after another kept coming up. Excuses, really. I knew I needed to get started because I'd gotten a request at Nationals, so it needed to be done to get that puppy in the mail.

Whenever I keep putting off something that really needs to doing, there's a reason. Usually one of those yucky, subconscious reasons that's going to make me learn something about myself. Sigh. Yep. There was one here too.

Every time I'd thought about even opening the notebook that held the rough draft, I'd feel nervous and worried. The root cause should have been obvious, but I was procrastinating, so I didn't examine too deeply. Unfortunately, a diligent critique partner reminded me that I needed to get underway, so I cracked open the notebook and took a peek.

What I found made me boneless in relief. Instead of the cr*p I'd been secretly fearful of finding, I discovered something that wasn't so bad. I could definitely work with this. Thank God!

Now, you may be one of those people who just jump right into things that I put off. Good for you! But at least my hesitation helped me better appreciate the quality and quantity of that rough draft. And maybe next time I'll be less fearful of getting started. I definitely know that even if I do come to pages that are cr*p—and there will be many—it won't be such a big deal because the entire manuscript isn't worthy of a garbage can. It's ready for my favorite part of writing—revisions.

So, what have you been putting off lately?

Angel

5 comments:

Linda Winstead Jones said...

What do I put off? Organizing my paperwork. Getting back on the treadmill. Shredding. I'm finishing up a book. (Today, I hope) and my office looks like Office Depot exploded in here. :-)

Taking time away from a rough draft is a good thing. I love to put my manuscripts in the trunk of my car and let them "age" for a couple of weeks. Maybe a month. I don't have that luxury this time (no time!) but I see it so much more clearly when I have that break.

LJ

Problem Child said...

Jump right in? You mean AFTER I sort the sock drawer, and alphabetize AC's bookshelf?

I avoid with the best of them.

PC

Smarty Pants said...

Right now all my current MS is missing is the scene where the hero has his big realization and rushes off to save the heroine. For the life of me, I'm just not ready to write it, even though I've written all the scenes afterward.

So...continue edits on book one, develop a fascination with scrubbing the textured floor of my bathrub, catch up on old Tivo episodes...

SP

Lis said...

Let's see, i'm two drafts into my paranormal formerly known as chick-lit that still has no black moment and a shady ending and just decided before tacking draft #3 that it wants to flip flop the first few chapters. So instead of doing that I'm working out in the garden, and trying to convert vhs tapes to dvds which turns out to be harder then I thought it would be (darn dropped frames)

Playground Monitor said...

You are looking (figuratively speaking of course) at the Queen of Procrastination. I have "To Do" lists from years ago that still need doing. Why? If I knew, I could sell the secret and retire for good. But once I finally stop putting things off and get started on a project, I'm in it for the long haul.

I started a new short story on Saturday. The opening isn't going well (so what else is new???) and I've put off working on it. I'll pick at it off and on until I finally hit on the perfect opener and then I'll write like gangbusters until I get to the end and I'll obsess over the perfect ending. Ditto the perfect title.

Is procrastination something instinctive? :grin: And PC, will you come over and sort MY sock drawer?