Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Fine Art of Avoidance: Writing Week #1

Batman knows procrastinating when he sees it.
As part of my goals for 2014, I'm working on the hyper-specific, professional, and detailed goals of:

1a) Write Stuff
1b) Finish Something

I'll wait while you take a moment to deconstruct those complex goals.

As part of working towards these goals, I've challenged myself to write every single day in July. I have a comparatively low word count goal to achieve, since the main point is for me to get in the practice of writing every day.

Writing every day is such a basic, fundamental task for writers. “Writers write,” they say. “Write what you know,” they say. (“Stop telling fart jokes,” they say...) This writer should write about fear because that's what I know.

Fear has kept me from putting words on the page for a very long time. I gave in to fear for far too long.
 - Fear that I wouldn't be able to finish anything (which, strangely enough, didn't help me have courage to finish anything …).
 - Fear that what I write won't be worth reading.
 - Fear of success (it's another flavor of my great nemesis: the unknown).
 - Fear of my own shadow, etc.

When fear wasn't lurking, there was another one of my good friends: laziness. Why try this new, scary thing called Finishing Something when I can sit here and watch Netflix while I eat brownies? Brownies and Netflix. :::sigh:::

Seems legit.
My other great partner in “crime” is procrastination. I am a master procrastinator. In my bag of procrastinating tricks there's something I like to call “procrastiworking.”

Procrastiworking is when you procrastinate under the guise of doing legitimate tasks (cleaning the kitchen, paying the bills, doing other tasks that you're also wanting to avoid, etc.). You feel legit and adult-y while procrastiworking, but you know the only reason you're cleaning out the edges of window frames with an old toothbrush is because you're avoiding something.

I have brought the art of procrastinating to such a magnificent level that my tablet occasionally suggests “procrastirachel” as a word choice. Yes, my tablet downgraded me from a proper noun to shame me in my misbehavior.

I know I'm not alone in facing the old frenemies of fear, laziness, and procrastination. If you have old projects, big projects, scary projects, dream projects, or new projects that you have shelved for whatever reason, let's work on those a little bit at a time in July.

I'm still finding ways to procrastinate and I'm stumbling on little places where the fear is keeping me tame, but I'm moving forward. I'm making progress, writing every day, and Doing The Stuff. My word count for the first 7 days of July: 7069 words. That's not a lot compared to what others have written in the last 7 days, but that's about 7000 more words than I put “on paper” in probably the last 5 years combined. It's my victory – and it's just the beginning. There are 3 more weeks left in July.

But don't ask me how long I procrastinated on writing this post. Let's just say my kitchen is really clean right now.

1 comment:

  1. 1. I love your heart.
    2. I cherish your honest.
    3. Would you like to come over to my house this evening and just "be" there...to write? Bring your journal or laptop. I will have other things I can do. We can have music on or not, but the goal will be for both of us to do something besides brownies & Netflix. If tonight doesn't work, I'll be there tomorrow night, too.


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