I’m a list guy. This year, I took to bullet journaling and found it very much suits me. It’s about time productivity became a habit. I’m a lifelong procrastinator, which is a dangerous habit. You can actually procrastinate your life away. Picture yourself (as I sometimes do) on your deathbed, a shivering bundle of regrets. What will rise to the top of the list?
For me, among other things, it will be whether or not I fulfilled the promise I made to myself eons ago to become a published author. Short stories are a great thing to have published, don’t get me wrong. Though I would love to have more of them out there. But the holy grail is, of course, the novel.
This is going to read like a diary entry or, worse, a therapy session. But first and foremost, it’s the confession of a lifelong procrastinator.
My ultra-fabulous writing group, the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers, gives notoriously phenomenal critiques. I’ve taken advantage of the group’s wisdom many times over the years. Critiques by your peers are essential to the development of a writer.
Only if you use them, of course.
Critiques can also be daunting, a laundry list of items to fix. Sometimes, those items are cosmetic—some touch-up paint here, a squeaky floor there. Sometimes, it’s a gut renovation.
If you look back through this blog, you’ll see that, aside from procrastinating writing blog entries (haha!), I have an irrational fear and loathing of editing, which I’ve been working on getting over. I’ve had a great deal of success in that area lately. Among my 2020 writing goals was editing a story a month, which has been hugely successful, even if I haven’t been able to crack the code on every story on the list so far.
Returning to the stories on the list has meant confronting the true depths of my procrastination. Call it self-sabotage, if you will. And you may, after you discover how far down the rabbit hole goes.
The next story on the list is one for which I’ve been sitting on critique notes from — wait for it — 2013. Yep, seven years ago I had a story critiqued. The notes aren’t even that bad, just some research into mythology so I can be consistent with my gods and goddesses.
Seriously. Seven years. Fear of editing, fear of success, fear of progress and the changes it brings. It’s chilling what you can uncover just by setting some goals! More on that later.
How about you? Do you procrastinate? Where does it happen, and how does it impact your life?
The breakthrough for me this year was discovering EMDR and recognizing how trauma impacts my daily behavior. With that realization I started watching an EMDR video on youtube (yes it actually works) while focusing on very specific trauma which causes behaviors I want to change. This year has really been life changing for me in positive ways.
That last bit spoke to me haha Sometimes you can let yourself get so comfortable in your routine that it’s scary to break out of it