Wednesday’s Word

Procrastination

I’m very good at it. For example, my Christmas decorations stayed up until last night. I kept saying, “We’ll take them down tomorrow.” And each day would come and go and the decorations remained. I tried to blame it on the snow that had frozen to ice and still covered some of the outside lights (the ones on the ground—yes, I had lights on the ground), but the reality was I just didn’t want to do it.  It was a pain trying to reclaim my lights from the icy clutches of winter, but with hubby’s help and several cups of hot water, we got it done. But I do feel so much better with the tree and all the decorations are packed away.

This got me thinking about other things I tend to procrastinate—like writing.

Yesterday after dropping my kids off at school, I came home, got K’s homework, went back to town, and took the homework to K (along with the kids’ lunches). After that, I came home again and took my little self out the door, through the back yard, and into my writing room. I even went so far as to open my computer and get it booted up. Once everything was running, I quickly checked my emails and dutifully opened Word.

And that’s as far as I got. I remembered J was sitting on the couch as I passed and she needed “encouragement” to do her online schooling. So I went back inside, told her to get started and come get me if she had any questions or needed help. I returned to my writing room, sat down, and logged into the online school to check her progress (and I needed to record attendance). Once there, I found she was missing some work. So I went back in the house and found her still sitting on the couch.

Yeah, I spent the morning making sure she was focused on her work and going through the concepts she hadn’t mastered. After overseeing her completion of quite a bit of work, we had lunch and I returned to my writing room. But did I write? No. I wasted valuable time surfing the web.

As I said in my first post of this new year, I plan to take 2013 one day at a time—and yesterday was not much of a writing day. I’m not sure how much I’ll get done today either. I have to oversee J’s science project—it involves dissecting a chicken wing and requires a sharp knife . . . and I’m a bit overprotective when it comes to my kids handling sharp objects.

Today J needs me (at least for a little while), but yesterday I realized there will always be a way to procrastinate. Not a huge revelation (I mean, I KNOW that already), but realizing I’m more prone to give in to the distraction than to force myself to focus on writing is a huge revelation—at least for me.

Face it, writing is hard work. Even the research, plotting, planning, etc. that sometimes comes before the writing is hard work. Okay, it’s not hard physical labor (though typing can wear out fingers/wrists/arms), but mentally and emotionally it takes its toll. No wonder we sometimes need a break.

I’m pleased with myself for identifying my tend to give in to distractions. Now that I know the problem, I plan to do something about it. There will still be days when I probably won’t get any writing done, but I believe I can eliminate many of those days by making the conscious choice NOT to give in to unnecessary distractions (that includes my kids unless they REALLY do need me).

I’m not setting a goal or making a resolution here—I still plan to take 2013 one day at a time—I’m just realizing a weakness in myself and deciding to work on strengthening that aspect of my character.

After all, I am a character in my own life, and I need to experience some growth by the end of my story too. Winking smile

Before I go inside to help J this morning, I intend to either fill out at least five 3 x 5 index cards or come up with names for the characters in my YA SF.

What about you? Are you easily distracted and allow yourself to procrastinate?

And finally, if you chose one word for today, what would it be?

 

Write on.

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About joanstradling

I’m a wife, mother, writer, pet wrangler, crafter, student, and anything else I can fit into my busy schedule. I still hope to ride a dragon, discover a new world by walking through a wardrobe, meet a Hobbit, or any of the other amazing things I read about as a child. In the meantime, I imagine and write about my own incredible worlds and characters–and continue to live vicariously through books.
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