What is your favorite way to procrastinate writing?
Here is a list of my personal top 5 methods of procrastination:
5. Reading novels – I debated whether or not to include this on the procrastination list. I read somewhere that reading novels, for a novelist, is like an apprenticeship. So by reading novels, I'm contributing to my overall writing-life experience. But it also keeps me from writing, and I often read specifically to avoid writing. This is what I call productive procrastination and makes me feel less guilty.
4. Going out to lunch – I write from home, which means my schedule is “flexible.” I don’t have to sit at my desk and write for eight hours a day, right? I can go to lunch with friends or my mom or grandma, right? Right, but…how often do these lunches turn into afternoon-long catch-up sessions or evolve into shopping trips? Hmm…almost always.
3. Working out at the gym or pool – It’s very important have a healthy, active lifestyle and I’m lucky enough to be one of those people who loves to work out, go to the gym, go for a swim or a quick run. A regular workout routine is, in my opinion, essential. I, however, often go to the gym or the pool as an excuse to stay away from my desk and computer. Exercise is healthy, but in my case, definitely a tool for procrastination.
2. Cooking and baking – Everyone has to eat, right? Yes. But in my case, I find myself in the kitchen needlessly baking double-batches of chocolate chip cookies or mixing an exotic blend of fruits in my juicer when I really don’t need these foods, aren’t even hungry for these foods, and know I should be writing.
1. facebooking, Tweeting and other forms of social media – Getting sucked into the black hole of social media is by far the easiest way to procrastinate. I'm not entirely sure how it happens. I get on facebook to check for messages, make a status update, check some friends’ updates, and then suddenly it’s three in the afternoon and I have written nothing more than a witty wall post that maybe a half-dozen people will read. Yes, social media is increasingly important for writers and a necessary part of the writing business. I, however, need to curb my social media urges, unplug my Internet connection, and just write.
If I’ve learned nothing else this summer it’s this: when you don’t have a set writing schedule, it is exceedingly easy to procrastinate and not write. Every night before I go to bed I tell myself, “I will write something tomorrow.” And then tomorrow comes and I find myself pumping iron at the gym and then baking a tuna casserole, and then what do you know, it’s bedtime and I'm in bed reading a good novel.
If I jot down my writing goal on my calendar, I am much more likely to meet that goal. For example, I might write: “write from 2pm – 4pm” on Wednesday or “write 1000 words” on Thursday. This helps. Usually.
Help me to stop procrastinating! What are your favorite forms of procrastination, and how do you overcome them?
procrastinated by: Anne Greenawalt at http://www.annegreenawalt.com/.