I am probably the world’s best procrastinator. I’m so good that I started this particular post years ago, left mid-sentence and never came back. Today is the day that I finish it. Maybe. I’ll give it my best. But what if, instead of procrastinating, what I’m really doing is letting life tell me what I should be doing. I need to do dishes. Fold clothes. Put the kids to nap and/or bed. Change diapers. Vacuum….again.
The list never ends. And that’s why this post and blog died. Let’s face it, no posts in three years? Yep. Dead. Maybe it’s not dead dead, just kind of dead. Like a rechargeable battery.
But to get back on point. I procrastinate in a number of ways. I can be completely happy staring at a blank wall, watching life in another reality unfold around me. In fact, I can do multiple things at once while putting of what I should be doing. For instance, I can watch TV while I make a phone call that I didn’t need to make and look at random stuff on the internet, while I put off filling out a background check so I can work on base.
While in school, I often thought that procrastination was good for me. I put off everything to the last minute. Then I’d plunge ahead and write a paper in record time. And the adrenaline is pumping. I think I just wrote the BEST paper ever. It never was. Perhaps the best paper written in record time like that.
Even now, although I’m writing, I’m actually procrastinating. I’m procrastinating the editing of the novel that I wrote, house work, my camp nano novel (which I’m liking so much more than my previous novel)…and a couple of other things that I’m putting off as well. My point is…I finished writing the first draft of my novel. But now I can’t seem to make myself edit it. I haven’t picked up since December of last year. Some time and distance is good. I’ll admit, but I think I’m actually scared to finish it.
And so I do everything I can to keep myself busy from writing, or editing. Or anything that might further my novel.
Okay, that may not be the only reason, but it definitely is one reason behind all of these things. I’m so busy, and I procrastinate on all of it so I don’t “have time” to work on what really matters to me.
When I was working in the archives at school. I met a British guy who was pursuing a degree in art. He is, what I call, absurdly rich. He wears a kilt. He’s blunt, and says things that made me laugh so hard I actually thought I might burst sometimes. But he’s completely serious. He loaned the archives a collection of medieval manuscripts and illuminations worth well over a million dollars. And all of this is irrelevant, because he’s also passionate about art and philosophy and history.
Passion. It’s like the opposite of procrastination. It lights a fire in your soul. In your mind. And you can’t let it go. And I love writing. I really thought I was passionate about it. But if I am passionate about writing, why do I let life and everything else get in the way and procrastinate?
I’m afraid. Not that I might finish something, but that I’ll get to that one point, ready to jump into publishing and…there isn’t anything to jump into. That I’ll send off letter after letter to get rejection after rejection. The abyss of being unpublished because I’m simply not good enough.
I have had family, friends, teachers, even complete strangers complement my writing. And yet I’m terrified that once it’s done I’ll find out everyone lied. In fact, nobody likes it, I’m a terrible writer. That is my fear.
And so I let life get in the way. And I let things slide. Because if it’s not finished, then it can’t be rejected.