Blogging is NOT Procrastinating

July 9, 2007 at 9:33 am | Posted in inspiration, Jessica, procrastination, writer's block, writing | Leave a comment

I started writing because I actually liked to do it. In my newbie naivete, it was fun, it was challenging, and it was something I could control. Somewhat. But now I am at that point in the learning curve where writing is actual work. Hard Work. (Yes, it deserves a capital W.) And after putting in my forty hours or more at my day job each week, there are times when I really don’t want to come home from work only to work some more, and anything – and I mean just about anything – is way more appealing than wrestling with that amorphous, sticky blob that I, at times, affectionately refer to as my work-in-progress.  (And can I just marvel at how working moms manage it?!)

 Why tear my hair out when procrastination is so much easier?!  

And I am aided in the temptation to procrastinate by my ever-present ‘friends’ – the enablers otherwise known as the pesky perfectionist, the evil internal editor, and the constant critic.

How do I procrastinate thus? I could truly count the ways. But in the interest of brevity, I will own up to just one: I can best justify my ‘not writing’ time when I am reading. And the justification is strongest when those books are on the business, motivation, and craft of writing. In my defense, a number of these books have helped me a great deal. However, I also know that writing is something that one learns by doing, and reading about it and hoping that I’ll get published is a far cry from logging the hours and emitting the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get there.

In the book, Starting From Scratch, best-selling author Rita Mae Brown said it in a way that was both diagnostic and medicinal for me:

Never hope more than you write.

I admit – I am a great hoper. Without hope I cannot dream so I know that, for me, hope is an important part of my every day. But it helps to remember that I strive to be equal parts writer and reaching that pinnacle that I want to reach takes work. When I attended my first RWA-National conference, I looked around at the two thousand or so writers also in attendance and it really hit home for me that for every minute I’m not writing there are thousands of other writers who are.

So . . . I will acquiesce that procrastination has its place, but there are few things that can derail hopes and dreams as quickly or thoroughly. My challenge to myself and to you is this: the next time the siren call of email – or a blog – sings to you or the all-day marathon of last season’s Miami Ink or America’s Next Top Model or Top Chef temtps to glue you to your television (don’t ask), remember what your hopes are and ask yourself – have you logged the writing time today to get you there?

-Jessica

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