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Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Should be Writing

It's officially the day after Christmas and being fortunate enough to have the next week off from my job, where I pretend to be a safety professional, I find myself doing what any procrastinating wannabe writer would do; finding any excuse NOT to write.

Procrastination is the bane of my existence. It's something that many of us share and for me, it's always been a major thorn. Today is a great example of that. I had in my head on Christmas eve, an idea for a short story which I simply had to put down. So, I immediately jumped up and typed up a very brief outline highlighting the major points of the story. I sat back in my chair and smiled thinking "this is a start." I was so happy with myself I could barely stand it. There it was on my screen; an outline by god! Something to build upon and a framework to get started on the story. Since then I've done just about everything I can think of to prevent myself from diving right in and doing what I should be doing, even right now as I type this blog entry--writing the damn thing.

I've spent all afternoon checking NFL scores, watching the Freaks & Geeks marathon on IFC, and doing just about everything under the sun one can do on a cold winter Sunday that doesn't include writing a damn short story.

So, what does one do to avoid procrastinating in writing? What are the causes of it? How do I overcome it? I think the answer to the first and third questions are simple. I must write. The second question is a bit more complicated. I suppose there are a number of things that cause people to procrastinate. I think for me, it is fear. Fear that what I produce in the end won't be good enough. Good enough for what or who, I can't say. I don't plan on submitting this story I'm going to write. In fact, it's merely an exercise more than anything else. An experiment more or less, to see if I can make an outline work for me in developing a story from start to finish. To see if it actually will make it any easier for me in writing the thing.

So, I've determined how I will defeat this monster that sits on my desk called the procrastinator and replace him with the lovely enchantment of the muse instead. I will set aside at least 30 minutes a day (hopefully longer) in which I will be committed to writing. No internet, no television, no radio. Just me, the keyboard, a word processor, and the lovely muse. Because when you read other writers talking about the writing process there is one universal truth that they all agree upon; a writer must write above all else.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a short story to finish.