Monday, October 1, 2012

Can Staring Tame Procrastination?

As I was gathering information for  a class I am teaching, I came across some interesting advice for beating procrastination - stare at the project for 15 minutes, and don't allow yourself to take action. I tried to imagine myself doing that - and a student and I actually chuckled about that approach when we were discussing time management last week- until today, when the value of the sense of urgency that action creates hit me.

Last weekend, my husband and I went away to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. It was just a simple trip to the beach, but we rarely get away alone, so I was determined to go off the grid, at least as far as work went. Still, I packed reading material and the novel I’m supposed to be revising just in case down time presented itself and coincided with motivation.

When the first half of that equation came to pass on Saturday morning, I pulled out the novel. To describe my procrastination as prolonged does not begin to do it justice. Some of my reasons were 
legitimate - classes and the necessary preparation for them came with a solid deadline, and the revisions did not - but the biggest issue was sheer avoidance, augmented by the fact that I had mislaid the last section I’d revised. 

A week or so ago, I unearthed the missing section from the rubble in my office, and one excuse evaporated. Since I’d done my best (and most recent) revising at the beach two months ago (with apologies to my agent, if she is reading this!), I decided to bring the next set of pages with me on this trip.

And on Saturday morning, I opened the file.

And promptly had a revelation about how the scene in front of me should go, at the precise time that I could do nothing about it.

I was okay with that. When I retired, I promised myself that I’d adhere to the priorities I’d long avowed, the most important of which was that my family came first. I could wait until Monday to write the scene. In fact, I suddenly had a sense of urgency about revising the scene - and the rest of the book - that I hadn’t had since last spring when I got a nibble from a publisher.

So, here it is, Monday morning. I have a library book (non-renewable) due tomorrow, this blog to write and a class tomorrow evening that I must prepare for, not to mention the usual Monday chores at home to do.

I spent a little time with the library book, and have determined that the last barrier standing between me and that scene is this blog. The blog I am going to finish and post so I can clear that final hurdle and write. This blog that is so much easier to write....

Time to get to work, especially now that I've made myself accountable to the blogosphere.

No comments:

Post a Comment