You may have discerned from the name of my blog, “Procrastination Station,” that I am empowered by a relentless ability to do something else. Sometimes, this is good.
“How could procrastinating be good?” you ask.
The answer is that when I can’t think of what I want to write, procrastinating allows me to pivot into other creative endeavors—ones that could guide me back to writing that elusive scene. Procrastination always has that gray underbelly of tossing valuable time out of the window, however.
And, procrastination can be a symptom of anxiety-induced paralysis of productivity. Like, when the world news is a sharp, cold wave of dread stuck in a seemingly endless tide that bleeds into my every thought.
I’ve sat in the same scene in my current manuscript for at least six weeks, with no interesting ideas about where to take it. Six weeks.
Here is the beginning of a blog post I began three weeks ago:
My mind is all over the place. Usually, I can pivot to various activities in order to remain productive, but right now, I am a pinball repeatedly smacking into the same obstacles.
Playing the bring-the-umbrella-to-ward-off-the-rain card in that while I am on pins and needles to hear back from a certain agent*, I am sending queries and signing up for critiques.
This was clearly written in a frantic moment. I have an abundance of panicky moments when I realize that I haven’t moved a story forward, or that I haven’t been published for a while, that stem from the irreplaceable nature of time. After all, nothing is more valuable than time.
Then, I think about what I have accomplished in these past six weeks:
walks with my son during his vacation from school;
matinee showings of summer blockbusters;
playing with our new puppy;
and catching up with friends.
The one thing procrastination is not is time spent with anyone you love.
This time has not been wasted, and I haven’t even been procrastinating, per se (although, searching online for tiny puppy costumes does fall under that category). Because, more important than creating is time, and more important than time is love.
So, don’t be afraid to spend your precious time on the precious people you love, because from that exquisite foundation springs the purest, most inspiring creativity. (And, perhaps, success…)