Friday, February 10, 2012


"Each month, our participating authors from around the world agree to blog on a single topic throughout the month. By following the links in each month's post, you'll discover a whole bunch of new authors in a variety of genres, levels of experience, and styles of writing."

The Dreaded Porch Mess

Every month, on the 10th day, I take part on the Forward Motion for Writers Blog Tour. Every month, I get to the 10th and realize in utter panic, that I haven't thought of what to write for the monthly topic. Ironically, this month, the month when the topic is procrastination, I'm actually writing this post ahead of time.

I've been thinking a lot about procrastination lately, because I haven't been hitting my 1K/day goal on my current WIP, the YA Ghost Story in Progress, or what I affectionately refer to as the YAGSIP.

Now, if you asked my family, they'd tell you if procrastination was an olympic sport, I'd probably win the gold medal.  It's something I'm quite good at, if I may say so myself.  And here's the thing.  For me, it's really avoidance.  If there's something I don't want to do, it can find its way to the sub-basement of my to-do lists. And it's a vicious cycle.  The more I don't want to do something, the more I procrastinate on it, the more I *really* don't want to do that thing.

Right now, it's about emptying the screened in porch attached to my office. There are things in there that never got moved inside after our fire-renovation. It's not that I don't want the porch cleaned out, it's that I really just don't want to do it myself.  And the longer I avoid doing it, the worse and the harder the task feels, until it's become this impossible mountain to climb.  

If I just spent 20 minutes and did it, it would no longer have power over me. My rational mind knows this, and yet, I still find a thousand other things to do rather than the few things I really need to do.

I've hit the middle of this novel in progress.  I hate the middle of any book. It's like I've wandered into a swamp and the further I push, the thicker the mud gets, until I'm at a complete standstill.  I hate that feeling, so I avoid even opening the file.  Instead, I haunt FB, Twitter, and G+. I decided to focus on updating my Tumblr blog. I do endless research, all the while trying to fool myself that I'm doing important things.
I write endless to-do lists.  Not just on scraps of paper, but using clever programs and systems that never get me over my time-wasting procrastination. (Yes, I am aware that endless organizing *IS* procrastination.)

And yet, I do accomplish a lot.

Another irony:  Maybe it's this clash between what I want to do and what I need to do that helps me accomplish so many interesting things.  Things that never make it to my to-do list but are important and fulfilling in their own right.

Today, I sat down, turned off the wifi and wrote for a solid hour, pushing a little through the middle.  And in the next week, I absolutely will clear off the porch.  I have no choice.  A carpenter is coming to repair the broken screens and door frame.  It will feel utterly delightful to have the task completed, so why has it taken me a year to get to?

Head over to the Blog Tour main blog for other writers' takes on procrastination. Just doing my part to help you avoid!

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