How Many "Almosts" Do You Want to Rack Up?

Sunday, May 07, 2017
I was watching This is Us, a show I resisted until a couple of months ago... and then I got hooked.

On this particular episode, a character was dying. They said, "My life has been full of almosts and would-haves," and I immediately thought of all the things I hesitate doing. The projects I shove aside because of the bucket-load of excuses I fabricate.

I have a manuscript that I've worked on for years, and it's still a hot mess. I keep putting blinders on when it comes to the work it probably needs.

I have a manuscript that's almost finished--at least the second draft is almost finished. This WIP is a project that's more marketable, more appealing and more easy-to-get than anything I've ever written (at least I think so)... and yet it still sits there, unfinished.

Am I the same as other writers? Are there some main reasons why we make sure we live in the Land of Almost and the continent of Would-Have? It doesn't help matters that I'm the Princess of Procrastination.

If you'd like to embrace your procrastinating ways, check out this article which outlines how putting things off is a natural part of the writing process.

Another article suggests we examine how we procrastinate, and offers some tips on how to keep our putting things off in check.

I've been reading Julia Cameron's The Right to Write. She has a short chapter on procrastination (all the chapters are short) and in it she says:

"A primary reason writers procrastinate is in order to build up a sense of deadline. Deadlines create a flow of adrenaline. Adrenaline medicates and overwhelms the censor. Writers procrastinate so that when they finally get to writing, they can get past the censor."

That really makes sense to me. Maybe I'll work on not procrastinating so much...

... Later.

What do you do when you procrastinate? And if you have any up your sleeve, what tricks or strategies have you found that work to vanquish procrastination?

Sioux Roslawski hopes to finally finish her WIP. She's giving herself until the end of May, she's going public with that goal, and her students and their possible disappointment will (hopefully) keep her driven. Sioux's also gearing up for her son's wedding at the end of the month. If you want to read more about her journey as a writer, read her posts.


Angela Mackintosh said...

That's an interesting quote by Julia Cameron! I almost always hit my deadlines, but I didn't know it was because of adrenaline overwhelming the censor. That does make sense! Now I'm wondering if there are other ways to build up adrenaline before writing--like exercising or standing on the edge of a cliff or riding a rollercoaster. Or I could just create some self imposed deadlines for creative work. :) Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Sioux!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Angela--It even makes procrastinating seem like a good idea... Kind of.

(I would love to see you going out to the edge of a cliff every time you have a deadline looming over you.;)

Donna Volkenannt said...

Great post, Sioux. Sorry I didn't read it earlier, Guess that's because I'm a procrastinator reader as well as writer.

I like the quote from Julia Cameron. It makes a lot of sense.

Lately I've done a super job writing stories and essays in my head, but getting the words down on paper is another story.

Nila said...

I love the Procrasti-Nation Map! I, too, am guilty of all types of procrastination, but I like this explanation because it makes sense to me. I'm excited about your WIP and would love to hear when you finish it! Keep us in the loop!

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