It’s Tuesday. I have a deadline for Friday. How much of my novel have I edited?
That’s right, I’ve arrived at the good ol’ Procrastination Station. The place where all productivity, motivation, and positive attitudes go to die. I am a frequent visitor of the Procrastination Station, having been several times during high school, college, and post grad. It’s not like I like coming here, it’s just that I can’t help it. Sometimes I don’t even know how I got here, like a sleepwalker. How is it almost noon and I’ve accomplished so little? How am I not freaking out about it yet?
It’s just such a huge task that I have in front of me. Over the weekend, I was out of town at a wedding and looking forward to diving back into my novel and editing it to make it better. Now that I’m home and my bags are unpacked, I’m sitting at the computer doing anything but working on the AT story. I’ve checked Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I’ve read the news and feel fully informed about Syria. I’ve read like six BuzzFeed lists. I’ve made queso and chips. I might even go make more food. I read about 100 pages in my book. I’m even blogging in order to procrastinate.
What is making me do this? Extreme laziness? Well, I am semi-lazy about some things, but not so lazy that I’m not productive. Is it fear? Sort of. Right now attacking the novel is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Elbert. It looks like a daunting task and I know I’m going to be exhausted afterwards, but it’s doable. Is it because I like the pressure of working at the last minute? Sort of. I always liked the flurry of activity before our Tuesday night deadline at my college newspaper, and I tend to produce my best work under stress and a deadline (I had my highest GPA during my most stressed out semesters at XU).
It’s totally unreasonable to put this off. Every day I don’t work on it, I get further and further from my goals. I am a goal oriented person. I’m also trying this new thing where I avoid stressful situations, but burning the midnight oil on this draft will probably result in anxiety and stress. Why put myself through that?
I think it’s the confrontation of imperfection. I am by no means a perfectionist, except when it comes to myself. I beat myself up over every little failure in life, every ruined relationship, every mistake, every terrible judgment or choice. Editing my draft is me basically admitting that I did not do this right the first time, that there’s lots of (fixable) issues with it, that I’m a bad writer, on and on down the dark rabbit hole of pessimism I go…
I have no cure for my procrastination except to just do it. Turn off the WiFi, put my butt in the chair, and do it. I’m right, my draft sucks, but hopefully when I’m done, it will suck less.
Time for the train to leave the station. How do you fight off procrastination? Leave your suggestions in the comments. I’ll be back to blogging when the editing is done. Until then, I’m out.