I love writing, I really do. It’s what I want to spend my life doing. I love to sit down at the keyboard with ideas running through my brain and my fingers struggling to keep up. At the moment I’m in the editing phase which isn’t as fun as the actual writing, but I still enjoy it. I have not looked at the draft of my book for six weeks and it gives me somewhat of a fresh approach. This week was the first time I got back into it after the school holidays. And by ‘it’ I mean the Abby Wilder part of my life. My boy and my girl started back at school and I had my usual day off work, so I sat down at my computer ready to get back into it.
I was excited. I had looked forward to this day for weeks. So why was it that when I sat down at my computer, I did everything else apart from work on my novel?
I opened Facebook and somehow stumbled across an article on Zero Carb lifestyles. I ended up on a blog with interviews of people eating this way and I was fascinated. A few articles in and I realised I was getting distracted, so I pulled myself away and determined to start reading/editing. Then I thought I might check on the sales of my books. I hadn’t done that in a while and since it was my first day back on the job so to speak, I thought it would be a good idea. I was pleasantly surprised by the sales and downloads ticking by, considering my lack of marketing. But since I had checked the sales, I thought I should really pop over to Goodreads and Amazon and check out the reviews. While reading reviews my thoughts usually vary from, ‘Yes, they get me! They totally understood what I was trying to portray. They loved my characters! Life is so wonderful right now I could explode with happiness,’ to, ‘Oh my goodness, why are people so cruel. I think I will curl up into a ball and gently rock myself to sleep.’
So it was about time I started editing. I was looking forward to it. I wanted to edit, but I found myself blindly clicking links on Twitter, looking at pretty pictures of characters on Tumblr, back on Facebook sighing over articles and chuckling over status updates, and checking out cute kitten pictures on Instagram. I have three cats. I like them. Most days.
I even considered writing this blog post, but I admitted to myself that writing a blog post about avoiding editing was in itself another form of procrastination, so two hours after I should have started, I finally did.
And I enjoyed it. I got lots done. And I was annoyed I had wasted so much time at the beginning of my day because I could have accomplished so much more.
So why do we do it to ourselves?
Why do we procrastinate even from the things we want to be doing?
If you think I am going to give some profound answer into the thought process of the human psyche, sorry. I am asking the question, not answering it.
I was told that writing is like a muscle. You must exercise it in order for it to grow. And for your muscles to grow, you’ve got to move. You can’t sit on the couch and think about moving. You can’t read articles on the benefits of moving or the ways in which you should move. You’ve actually got to get off your backside and do it. I needed to pick up the draft of my book and start. Which I did . . . eventually.
So I have forgiven myself for my little veer off course into procrastination and next week I will get straight into it. I promise. I hope. Well, let’s just say the intention is there. The best of intentions.
Okay, so maybe we’ll just wait and see what happens.