Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting my stuff done

This is the best portrayal of a writer procrastinating that I've seen in a long time. Take a look at it at Annie On Writing

The writer in the background keeps referring to writing as getting his stuff done. I found the expression amusing but wondered if that is really what I'm doing when I sit to write - getting my stuff done. I suppose it is in a sense.

I'm getting my stuff done when I keep my commitment to an editor by gluing my butt to my chair despite procrastination's call to dust, organize or putter here and there instead of getting my stuff done.

I'm getting my stuff done when on the brink of caffeine withdrawal I keep working on a post for one of my blogs, emailing my day's quota of queries or reponding to emails from readers.

I'm getting my stuff done when with eyes half-closed and body slumped over in sleep mode, I continue to pound out words because I haven't the heart to stop just yet.

Procrastination is a formidable enemy to a writer. I keep coming up with strategies to avoid it and defeat it but success is short-lived because while the solutions come from without, procrastination originates within me. Maybe it is not procrastination's fault really. Maybe I am my own worst enemy, fighting against and far too often, winning the war against my attemtpts to get my stuff done.

8 comments:

septembermom said...

For me, I'm always looking for the "right" time to start writing. Having 4 kids, I can be frazzled and going in so many directions. Once I get that time to myself, I find that fatigue wins and I procrastinate with my writing once again. I'm beginning to realize that I may have to write here and there. Hopefully, when all the kids are in school, I'll dedicate a portion of my day to writing. I just hope I have some kind of "muse" by then : )

Joanne said...

Procrastination or not, what you've done in this post is clearly spell out the nitty-gritty aspects of writing, the "work" ethic involved with getting those words on the page. And procrastination or not, this is what must get done to enjoy the satisfaction of the art, to be in touch with the heart, to call ourselves writers.

Cheryl Wright said...

Septembermom,

Welcome. Don't wait any longer. Think of what your day entails. You may not have access to the time you prefer but identify a time when there is a lull in the rush of your responsibilities and dedicate it to writing. Be prepared for those days when life fills every hour, as is likely to happen often with 4 kids. If you can make time to shower, you can snag time to write.

NOTE: Practise being a writer on the go by keeping a small notebook and pen in every room.

Cheryl Wright said...

Hi Joanne,

I giggled all the way through the video and long after too - not only because it was funny but more so because it was so true.

Yet, I took a breath, buckled down got my stuff done. Otherwise, how can I call myself a writer if I didn't?

Jan said...

Cheryl,
It takes more discipline to be a "writer" than I ever imagined. I used to be a teacher and, actually, that was far easier. I could always "fudge" lesson plans if I felt a little lazy. When you are working with publishers, editors, deadlines, even blog owners (!) you just can't .... there is much to lose, including professional integrity. So sometimes, like you say, we do need to pound it out, but hopefully we can do it with some degree of gentleness to self, eh? And not too much caffeine!
All Love, J

Cheryl Wright said...

Jan,

RE:"Gentleness to self"

And therein is one of the keys to finding joy in whatever we do.

Magnolia said...

I'm always amazed at how much time I find to watch movies, pittling around the house and stressing over everything I have to do; which of course, keeps me from writing.

Cheryl Wright said...

Don't I know it Mags. But we can't always beat ourselves up for that because inspiration often comes while we're busy doing non-writing things.

 
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