Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Procrastination

Procrastination whispers in my ear ~ do this, do that -- but do it later. Right now, let's go have fun! Yes!

Anyone out there know what I mean? Come on, some of you must.

During the spring, I started working through the exercises in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron with two writing friends.

So began our journey. We wrote 'morning' pages as Julia Cameron calls them, took ourselves out on artist dates, ruminated over the questions at the end of each chapter, and checked in with each other every week, as our built-in accountability.

My buddy, procrastination, would wake me up bright and early to remind me to do my morning pages--MORNING pages--not afternoon or evening pages, but morning pages, not almost three but THREE FULL PAGES -- handwritten.

Okay, fine. So some mornings grew procrastination legs deep into the evening and I'd scrunch up in bed at night and scribble out three morning pages to keep my commitment. Except they weren't MORNING pages, they were midnight procrastination pages, which left me frustrated. I started wondering...

Did my morning pages count if I didn't do them in the morning to start my day off in the right 'writing' frame of mind?

Are morning pages written in the morning the magic formula to being a good writer?

What did all of this say about me as a writer--did it say I was committed or should be committed?!


After a few weeks of driving myself crazy, taking little credit for writing every day unless things were done just right, I had a chat with my writing com padres -- they didn't say the word crazy, but I got the point: the point is to write, doesn't make any difference what time of day it is--it's about finding the right time for you, er, me.

Turns out the best time for me to work on my book is late afternoon and evening. But the morning pages? I do them mostly in the morning now because I get up a little earlier. But they count anytime -- day or night. They count if I only write 2 1/2 pages, too! And finding a good time to write takes most of the pressure off because I'm doing what works for me not Julia Cameron. Follow your own intuition!

Any time devoted to writing is good and working with your own body clock helps squash the procrastination bug.

Here's an interesting web site for writers with lots of articles about writing, organizang, etc. http://www.organizedwriter.com

Wanna write? Here's a PROMPT: The thing about procrastination is....

5 comments:

Jim Ott said...

...the thing about procrastination is that I always feel so good once I do the task I've been putting off, and then I wonder WHY I didn't just do it sooner.

Great post, Cindy. Thanks for visiting my site. Ill check out the organizedwriter.com website and more of your blog.

she said...

"education is the noblest form of procrastination" ~sandra, ttgp

fun read.. who cannot relate?

Cindy said...

Jim, I feel great after I do whatever I've been agonizing over not doing, too and wonder why I waited so long. Maybe it's one of the few ways to get delayed gratification (a little warped, huh?)--since it seems that today we put in our quarters and get our results immediately!Thanks for visiting my blog, Jim

Cindy said...

Sandra, I might get my calligraphy pen out and write your quote out - just to remind myself how often I learn new things -- through the art of procrastination
~cindy

April said...

Cindy,

Hey, I firmly believe that the key to getting oneself to do anything is to make it fun in some way. It could be making the area where you write a place you love to be. It could be that special cup of tea or coffee you reward yourself with as you write. It could be choosing to write something you love working on (always a good idea, IMO, anyway...).

If you know you get to play after the pages are written....