Procrastination is my middle name, figuratively speaking. So when I attended the San Diego Christian Writers Guild fall conference and heard Lynn Vincent speak, I felt as though she’d somehow been watching me.
According to Lynn, there are 3 P’s that writers need to banish:
Perfectionism is a common enemy of writers. That fear of writing something with flaws—a weak plot, something clichéd or cheesy, maybe even something that just isn’t any good at all. This fear often causes us to procrastinate. Procrastination is how we avoid making mistakes, but it’s also preventing us from making any progress. And when we fail to move forward, it becomes harder and harder to begin at all, putting us into writing paralysis.
It’s a little scary to realize how easily this vicious cycle can suck us in and keep us from doing anything at all with our creativity.
Procrastination is addictive. It’s easy to lie to yourself and believe it’s not an issue. Until today, I never realized that “I can start my book whenever I feel like it,” was just another way of saying “I can stop at any time.” But the greatest lie of procrastination is that somehow, if I wait to write, the writing will be more inspired. Lynn Vincent called it the Write-Ready State; we wait until the story is bursting inside of us before we bother to sit down and write. Does that sound familiar? I know I’m guilty.
Procrastination is addictive.
Why is the Write-Ready State wrong? Because, sadly, there’s no shortcut to good writing. Creativity of any kind (writing, painting, sculpting, cooking, you name it) requires steps. There is no such thing as a one-step process to reach a finished piece. Waiting to be inspired doesn’t mean my writing will miraculously be finished-manuscript-quality work. No matter when I start, I will always begin with step one.
So instead of lying to myself, procrastinating, and never moving forward; I think it’s time to start taking the advice I’ve been hearing all along: “Write every day”. Because a little bit every day is going to get me a lot further than a lot every now and then.
No matter when I start, I will always begin with step one.
Are you also struggling to kick the procrastination habit? What are some tricks you use to power through?