On Writing

Procrastination

We talk about synchronicities here, and it’s easy to see them in all sorts of places when you’re looking, but I have to say that God has been trying to tell me something today.

So, first, I stumbled onto this article earlier this morning, and I thought, “Oh! That’s a good topic to write about!” And then I scribbled the thought down on a Post-It at work and didn’t think much else about it.

When I was sitting on my couch at home after a long day and my eyes were starting to droop, I thought, “Oh, I’ll just write something tomorrow.”

And then I saw this:

And, well? LOL!

So, perfectionism and procrastination. They so often go hand-in-hand, don’t they?

The article really spoke to me in a lot of ways. I am a person who likes to have things just so. I want the numbers to add up in a nice little row. I want the house to sparkle and shine. I want the story to come out right the first time. I don’t want to do something if I can’t do it well.

But life is so messy. So terribly, horribly messy. You can’t get away from it. Everything you try to do is going to be done in an environment of resistance. Nothing likes to be changed. Everything will stay in the state it’s in, if it can.

The safe. The ordinary. We don’t risk. We follow our patterns and we stay in them. We get complacent in our own little worlds. Even if it’s dull as dishwater. Get up. Get dressed. Go to work. Do your job as best you can. Drive home. Make supper. Do something to wind down. Go to bed. Start it all over again.

You do that in minute by minute increments that slowly build up to a lifetime. And so many of us find ourselves at 80 wondering where our lives went. And were we really spending years of our lives laughing at memes and watching cat videos on Facebook?

Maybe we can change things and go in reverse. Practice Kaizen and stop worrying about whether or not we’re doing the things we’ve always wanted to do but were deathly afraid of doing perfectly.

How does a book get written? One word at a time. Maybe we stop worrying about whether that word ends in -ly or if we’ve said “He said” too many times. Don’t worry today about spelling or grammar or whether you’ve used the right version of “there”. Just get the words out.

Find the place today where you can write a word or two. Just for the sheer pleasure of enjoying words for what they are.

Take Mart Belden’s pleasure in finding the perfect crazy big word and use it in a sentence today. What kind of stories can get out of your heart and soul if you just throw away the need to have it perfect and just write it?

Just write the story that’s on your heart. One word at a time.

2 Comments

  • Dana

    I’m definitely a perfectionist. Sometimes I procrastinate on work projects because of that. It’s out of my wheelhouse, and it’s so overwhelming to think that my finished product will be as good as something in my wheelhouse, and yadda, yadda, yadda.

    But when it comes to my fiction writing, it comes down to two things–exhaustion and laziness. Spending so much of my work day writing, editing, and researching, I am not included to write in my off hours. And sometimes when I am inclined to write–I’m too lazy to get started.

    I want to work on that, though. I have a post in my head about my newly established writing goals that I’ve been meaning to post since the day we started this blog. Have I posted? No! I’m procrastinating again, lol!

    But I am trying to be more mindful and reading the articles that pop into my Pocket feed and really trying to apply them to my life so that I can be more productive in the areas I *want* to be instead of just the areas I *need* to be.

    • Susan

      Yes, yes, yes. I could easily have written what you said. Procrastination on things and exhaustion and laziness. Yes. I totally sympathize and am there with you on both counts.

      Did you post on your newly established writing goals? I have to look through here to make sure I haven’t missed it.

      As you can tell, my procrastination on writing comments on the blog is ending today. (For now anyway. Heh.)

      That’s awesome. I keep trying to be mindful of places I can make room for the things in which I want to develop and grow and not just to fill the few free time areas with small stuff. I think part of it is adjusting my mindset. I keep thinking I’m 20 and I have the energy and time I did when I was 20 something.

      It’s a hard adjustment. My brain doesn’t like it.

      I hope that you do find the time for the things you want to do. Life should have some room for needs and wants, I think. 🙂

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