Procrastination is a consistent problem for writers everywhere; particularly when you are starting out and still trying to establish a name for yourself. We tend to blame time as our ultimate enemy in the fact that there just never seems to be enough of it. We arrange our schedules and rearrange them over and over again, trying to fit in the family, the friends, and all of the writing that needs to be done but there are times when nothing works. Perhaps the procrastination that we are doing is not solely because there is not enough hours in the day. What really lies behind the reason that we spend so much more of our time planning for things to do rather than actually doing them?
Often times the effects of our personal lives sink into our work habits and it throws us off a bit. We mistake stress, grief, intimidation, or even depression for procrastination. Here are four things that writers who find they are constantly procrastinating with no valid reason as to why can do to begin moving pass the lack of productivity.
- Identify the Underlying Issue— Whether the issue behind your procrastination is stress, intimidation, or even depression, you have to admit to the way you are feeling and pinpoint what is truly the reason that you aren’t producing the way you want to.
- Identify the Reason for that Underlying Issue— Once you have acknowledged the issue, for instance depression, then you have to analyze why you are feeling that way. What has happened that has brought you to that point. You can’t get past the problem if you have not yet identified why you are feeling that way.
- Make a Plan of attack as to how to deal with the Issue— Now that you are beginning to understand why you are procrastinating to begin with, what are you going to do about it? If you are depressed, what do you plan on doing about the depression you are feeling? If you are intimidated by your craft, why is that, what do you plan on doing about that intimidation? If you are stressed, how do you plan on eliminating your stress so that you can move forward with your work?
- Implement your plan and take action in regards to your issue— Whatever way you plan on getting past your underlying issue, there’s no better time to put that plan into action other than now. There’s already been enough time wasted and there’s no need to waste any more.
For the better part of this year I have been stressed, intimidated by the craft itself, and in large part, depressed. I have excused my lack of work productivity as me not having the time or even me being blocked. What was really happening with me was that I was so scared that my work wouldn’t be good enough and that there were too many writers out there that were better than me. All of that coupled with the stress of life and the struggles that I have been dealing with, mostly revolving around lack of money, had sent me into a deep depression.
It wasn’t that I didn’t realize that I was depressed and that this was the real reason that I wasn’t writing and producing work like I should be. It was that I didn’t address my depression which stemmed from my stress and my intimidation, and I didn’t understand that this was the reason why I was continually procrastinating. Sometimes procrastination is really about not managing your time well or even about just not finding the right idea. However, there are times when our procrastination is truly about something much deeper than that and something that we most likely do not want to force ourselves to address. We have to face the dept of our issues so that we can get back to thriving in our craft.
Jimmetta Carpenter was born and raised in the Prince George’s County Maryland and has had a very big imagination since a very early age. She has been writing poetry since she was in elementary school around the age of ten. Her love of words has allowed her to express herself in ways in which verbally she can not. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and the author of a collection of poetry, The Art of Love under the Pseudonym Gemini, and a novel titled The Diary: Succession of Lies under the Pseudonym Jaycee Durant. She is looking forward to producing two new online magazines, Write 2 Be, and Write 2 Be*Kids, in 2013 under the Write 2 Be Media Co. umbrella. You can read more of her work at http://write-2-be.com/.