A couple of weeks ago, I posted the Four P’s of Procrastination with a promise (not one of the P’s) to talk about how I’m working on overcoming it. I was on vacation and then conferencing in Texas, so the post kept getting put off. Yeah, irony. I did take notes and then lost them, but while unpacking, I found them again, so here goes…
If you’ll think back (or look back), the Four P’s of Procrastination were Personality, Perception of Time, Process Issues, and Perfectionism. I tried to distill the solutions into words or phrases that start with D:
1. Doing It
In working with depressed clients, I’ve heard so many times, “I didn’t really feel like doing [some pleasurable activity], but when I did, I actually enjoyed myself.” I sometimes forget that, at the end of a busy day when I’m emotionally and physically drained from work, writing is something I enjoy. Once I get into it, that is.
Before I left on vacation, I had a ton of stuff to do at work. You may have read about my realization that the need to do paperwork is actually gaseous — it expands to fill all the time allowed. I only had so much time at work and so many things to do, so that whole time perception problem, the one where ten minutes doesn’t seem like enough to get anything done, went out the window. I used every one of those minutes and was very productive.
Now I just need to figure out how to get the deadline thing going with my writing, which brings me to…
3. Death Threats
Okay, not literally. I’m thinking more about external accountability.
When I was in graduate school, I took an Adult Continuing Education creative writing class with Harriette Austin. I had to produce something, if not weekly, then every other week. It was one of the most productive writing times I’ve ever had. Harriette’s encouragement didn’t hurt, either.
Now my deadlines are mostly self-imposed, and I’ve found great encouragement from the #amwriting, #Writers_Life, and #writechat communities on Twitter.
My mother is Belgian, and when I was eleven-ish, her oldest sister as well as my late uncle came to visit. They lived in the French-speaking part of Belgium, and my very active toddler sister’s antics were greeted with concerned, “Doucement, doucement!” or “Easy, easy!”
When I’m setting goals, I tend to think big but not realistically. It’s good to remind myself every once in a while that I’m only one person with 24 hours in my day, and sometimes I need to give myself a break.
The writing process is supposed to go the literal translation of Doucement, which means “sweetly.” So, may all your writing go sweetly and smoothly. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the cake and wine!