Procrastination… Who, me?

Way back, the acceptable delaying tactic was to sharpen pencils – finding spare pens (just in case you needed them) would fit into that bracket, too – Coffee had always been an option, also, one, two, three or however many you needed to put off the fateful moment when you sit and actually commence working – after that, of course, were the necessary trips to the bathroom. 🙂

Nowadays, computer technology and an Internet connection allow for all the delays you could ever want. Checking email, catching up with news blogs or playing (for “just ten minutes”) whatever computer game you are into at the moment, all have the potential to fill half your morning with no trouble at all.

Writers are notorious for dodging their keyboard duties. We always have, we always will – it’s part of the process. It must be, why else would we all do it? We love to weave ideas and, when the words are flowing, we love to catch those ideas on paper. Any other time, though, and we’d rather do just about anything than sit in that chair and ACTUALLY GET SOME WORK DONE.

*

We have to think. We have to prepare. We have to beat our latest score masterfully compose our thoughts into majestic prose.

Once in there, though, and working, we’re away and wishing we had started sooner.

Everyone at some point or another hesitates at opening up that file.

Getting around it, for me, sometimes is as simple as having a look at the spot I am working on – first thing, before anything else – just to see where my thoughts need to be while I make that cup of coffee. Most times, something occurs that I can put in at once, so I do, and the next thing I know, half my morning has been spent there, where I’ve needed to be, rather than somewhere else wasting my time or dodging.

And yes, getting in first thing and getting hooked into my work that way, is the very thing I am doing NOW to be sure of making good progress on book 3, The Bastard Line.

So far, this ploy is working. Some days I only get a few pages done and other days I get lots done. That means I’m going forward, one way or another.

I think that’s all that matters.

Cheers all! Happy writing!

😀

Allyson

12 thoughts on “Procrastination… Who, me?

  1. writingsprint

    Well done! I did that recently with some reading I was trying to do — not doing anything else until I’d done the reading first. Have you ever had it where you want something to be good so badly that you’re afraid to start it? I have that one lately.

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Yes – for me it was fear of disappointment. Currently, I have the one where every starting word or sentence fails to carry the magic, so I get stuck right there at the start of it (I’m there at the moment trying to get the back for book 1 done). 🙂

      If it’s fear of disappointment, tell yourself this is just a draft. Good writing is more often polished up out of it rather than placed word-perfect the first time through. You’ll take the pressure off yourself when you grant yourself time to make it good.

      Then go out and buy yourself a bottle of champagne, decorate it with ribbons like it’s a first prize and put it on display where you write. It’s yours to open when that piece you want so right is written. If you are talking whole book, then celebrate the chapters.

      Ahhh- you’ve done it again, you’ve given me an idea for a blog post! Layers! I write in layers. It might help with a big project. Like catching the action and the dialogue first, then at a later time touching up the scenes with technical detail, bringing up little background bits that flesh out the whole.

      I like talking with you – I get ideas. 😀

      Reply
      1. writingsprint

        I had to post when I saw “procrastination” in your title. The first line in an email I sent to myself today, as I tried to come up with today’s post: “I’m procrastinating.” I want the new story to be good, and I’m not 100% sure where it’s going yet, but I did give myself license to just try things out, didn’t I? So I need to get over myself and dive in.

        I love the champagne idea. I’ll definitely try that.

        It’s really something else to see a big story coming together again. I haven’t done this in years — and Nanowrimo really didn’t count for me. There’s much more thought going into this. I haven’t done any serious research yet but it’ll happen. I’m getting ideas for scenes and hoping I find a way to put them in. There are threads that I know belong but I don’t know where they go either. It’s like chaos theory, taking on a life of its own.

        “Layers” is a cool way to put it. Like you said, sometimes you start with the action, then you sink in deeper when you look at it again. Physical senses, fine details. A third time you might go deeper into their thoughts.

        And thank you on the ideas 😀 !

        Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          😀 Catch it all, keep it in files. I have a whole story on Sevi with complete detail – her deep in action, killing scenes, twists, the lot – and I can’t put it anywhere. That was meant for her is she went down a certain path. Only she didn’t. So it doesn’t belong now and nor will it in the future.

          I almost forced her down the other path, just so I could run that story, but Sturn said ‘no’.

        2. writingsprint

          Good idea on just saving them. I’ll do that. What you said about Sevi reminds me about that post you did on getting to know characters, writing scenes that never make it into stories, just because. Sometimes you just have to do that. Even if it doesn’t make it in, it helped you get to know Sevi. I smile when I look at the early iterations of a fantasy story I wrote — the character became almost 10 years younger and his abilities changed completely by the time the story reached its finished shape.

        3. A.D. Everard Post author

          One of the joys is watching characters evolve. My exercise with Sevi, however, wasn’t to learn about her, it was an offshoot from book 1 and a path to follow, but that path suddenly became unavailable. After the series, when I continue on with a new one against the same backdrop, I will find another Khekarian KIAF officer to take her place in that thread and still use it (probably). 😛

          I think writers have to love solving problems and doing puzzles because writing is full of them. Cheers! 🙂

        4. writingsprint

          Having another Khekarian take over that path is brilliant. Good luck there. It’s funny, problem solving and thinking it through logically is a special kind of agony for me. I do a lot better with brainstorming different angles and ideas and trying them out one at a time. Sooner or later one works, or tweak the story so that it works.

        5. A.D. Everard Post author

          I’m with you. Thinking a problem through logically is only one angle and rarely works alone. Brainstorming is what brings the brilliant flash of inspiration and potential that plodding logic can often miss. Then you work it. Seems we think alike. 😀

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