I don’t really believe in procrastination anymore.
Given some of my previous postings this now seems like a radical statement. (‘Procrastination’ even has it’s own category tag!)
But it is true. I don’t believe in procrastination.
If we take my ‘official writer starting point’ as middle school, then I’ve been a writer for over 30 years.
Have I written every day for 30 years? No.
But I have been a productive writer for over 30 years, crafting a wide variety of pieces.
When I look back at my moments of procrastination, I now see them as NOT procrastination but instead…
Yes, this is a thing.
I may have just made it up, but it is most definitely a thing!
What it means is…somethings just take time. That’s all.
Creative ideas are rarely linear. They aren’t always ready to conveniently plop out on the page, fully formed. They have A PROCESS.
We like consistency, so by all means, endeavour to create this for yourself in your writing life. (More on that in a later post)
But also consider that your creative inner world may be more….um, let’s call it:
complex, intricate, magical, mysterious, involved, complicated, contradictory
And so on.
Let me give you a ‘real world’ example.
I have a fourth novel to write. I have been circling around this novel for some time now. I’ve tapped into it a few times here and there.
I suppose my not drilling down every day could be perceived as ‘procrastination’.
But I see it more as…preparation.
I can feel myself gathering ideas, feelings, possibilities. The energy is gathering, like a storm cloud. I can feel the humidity growing…but I am just not THERE yet.
In the meantime, I allow myself to ‘day dream’ (a totally valid use of one’s time, IMHO) and I work on other writing pieces and read pieces and play around with writing, all the while knowing that in my background, I am CREATIVELY GESTATING.
Sometimes also I need time to EMOTIONALLY PREPARE myself for what is going to happen next in a story. I know my character is heading somewhere challenging and difficult. I am readying myself for this journey.
So sometimes what may read as ‘avoidance’ is in fact preparation. We just don’t always read it as such, because we are so used to expecting linear productivity.
But sometimes it just doesn’t work that way!
And we need to honour this spiral dance and not beat ourselves up about it, convincing ourselves we are wasting our time. WE ARE NOT!
Dear Writer, what is your relationship to ‘procrastination’? Do you experience ‘creative gestation’?