- How do I procrastinate?
- When do I procrastinate?
- How do I stop myself from procrastinating?
How do I procrastinate?
Me, procrastinate? What kind of suggestion is that?
Okay, I admit it - I procrastinate. I spend hours on the internet, usually on one writing forum or another. I read through old stories or scroll back through my current story and read old scenes. I get overwhelmed by the desire to play with images and make myself a new desktop background, book cover or just random bit of randomness. Sometimes I even get so desperate to get away from my computer that I do the housework. If the weather/time of day is cooperative, I head outside and spend some time with my goats.
I also procrastinate by writing. I know that sounds contradictory, but it works better than you'd think. Don't want to write that bing, heard-wrenching confrontation yet? Filler scenes! MOAR filler scenes! You'll have your daily wordcount done before you know it and you won't be any closer to that bit you don't want to write.
Why do I procrastinate?
There's probably some kind of complex, pseudo-psychological answer to that question, but the basic answer has to be the same for all writers. We procrastinate because it's just so damn easy. You don't have to go to any special effort or anything - just fail to turn up at the page for a while longer. Guilt monkeys will crack open your skull and feast on your brains, but... meh. Who cares about guilt monkeys when I'm almost finished my new desktop background?
Most of us start writing before the guild monkeys turn into zombies (I hope). If anyone knows what a 'guild monkey' is, please let me know. You really have to love those typos that end up being real words, right?
How do I stop myself from procrastinating?
That's the easy part. You just allow yourself to become an insane writing addict who goes into withdrawals if you're away from your story for too long. Bonus points if you react with a burst of enthusiasm when you hear the words 'ridiculous deadline'. Double bonus points if you've ever compared yourself to Pavlov's dog. Triple bonus points if you can actually meet some of those ridiculous deadlines.
In all seriousness, the best way to stop myself procrastinating is always to want to write more than I want to do any of those other things. It's all about incentives, which is why deadlines and wordcount goals are fantastic things. Part of my conditioning process means I consider it to be a little reward every time my wordcount reaches a certain number. I like two types of numbers - the ones where it's all the same digit and the ones where I've just clocked up another ten thousand words. Writing ten thousand words feels awesome. Then there are the daily goals, like the famous 1,667 for all the NaNoWriMo participants. Admit it, even if you strive for way more than that each day of NaNo, just seeing the number gives you a little buzz.
Then there's that other even more famous number: 50,000. Think about the rush you'll get when you hit that number. That's going to put a damper on procrastination, isn't it?