The Bane of Every Writer’s Existence: Procrastination
By CP Bialois
Okay, before I get started I admit I can be the ultimate procrastinator. There is nothing as fine-tuned as the ability to effectively put off till tomorrow what you can do today. At the same time, I hate it beyond description. It’s an evil, vile thing that’s on the same level as liars, cheats, and taxes. Yet, we all happily do it on a regular basis.
We all have our reasons for procrastinating. Others may do it to heighten their senses as a deadline closes in, or the thrill of the rush down the homestretch, many may even just hate doing anything. For me, it’s a simple matter of putting off what I don’t want to do.
I know it’s a trait I developed when it came time for me to mow the grass, shovel snow, or do anything besides play and make a mess as a kid. Making the mess was fun, cleaning it up wasn’t. Still isn’t, at least not to me.
As I grew older and stepped into the work force, I had no problem in switching that part of me off to do whatever job I was assigned. I figured I was being paid to do something and it was my job, so I did it. Nothing could be simpler to me. My mentality was something my coworkers and friends dubbed, “The Machine”.
Switching into Machine Mode was easy at work, but when it came to writing it proved an elusive beast. When it switches on everything in the world is great. I can edit about a hundred pages a day and write from sunup to sundown without a second thought. It’s a funny experience as nothing can piss me off when in that frame of mind. It’s when I’m out of it that I get cranky. Especially when I’m trying to switch it on.
Have you ever seen those old cars that had to be cranked to start? Or had a lawnmower that refused to fire up no matter how many times you pulled that damn cord? That’s exactly what it’s like getting into Machine Mode. There are days when it refuses to kick on no matter how much coffee, chocolate, or pleading I do. And it’s because of that, I’ve grown to hate procrastination.
As the years moved on, I grew to accept that I can’t switch on the machine mode in the house. So, to break free of procrastination and get into the groove I started going to the library to write and you know what? Once there I switch into Machine Mode without any effort. It’s a tremendous feeling which has led to another of one day wanting to live above a nice, small town, country library. I don’t know if that’ll ever happen, but at least I managed to find a way to break free of the procrastination cycle.
What tips or tricks do you have to get yourself motivated?