Thursday, February 6, 2014

I am a Habitual Offender! Overcoming Procrastination!

Today I attended a workshop entitled "How to be a Writer and have a real life". One topic was procrastination, which according to means:  "To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness."

The word HABITUAL sounds so harsh but I realized it did describe my recent writing routine or rather the lack of a routine. I had several shallow reasons that I used to validate the lack of productivity. 

After this realization, I have determined that the word for this year will be FOCUS! How do I plan on getting out of this procrastination rut I seem to be stuck in and FOCUS on the writing projects I currently have in progress? 

1. Setup blocks of time in my day for writing. Once I added up the time I spend reading Facebook posts, watching you tube videos and television, I realized there are actually several hours in my day that could be better utilized. I say hours because I have only a small apartment and dog to care for after work. 

2. Use a calender system! I have three sets of small stickers I bought in the school supply section and a notebook size calender. One represents writing done on my work in progress, one is for my blog posts and the third represents work done on my Writers Club projects.  My goal is to have at least 5 stickers a week for my WIP, 3 for my blog and 1 for Club projects. 

3. Save editing for once a week. Let the words pour out onto my screen and resist the urge to "perfect" each paragraph. 

For further and more in depth information about the Procrastination of a Writer,  I recommend the article "Procrastination" on the University of South Carolina at Chapel Hill's website. This article challenged me to think of some reasons I may have for avoiding certain tasks.

This article mentioned Five myths of procrastination and I readily recognized some of the signs in  myself. Believing I cannot work in a messy environment and my writing  has to be perfect were just two of the examples that resonated with me. I tend to spend large amounts of time rewriting the same passages and making little progress. One of the reasons I enjoy NaNoWriMo is because I am free to let the words flow and there is no time to pour over every paragraph several times. 

Now that I have finished this blog post, I will load the dishwasher and then enjoy a few hours watching "Gone with the Wind". 

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