The fine art of procrastination

I woke up early this morning and decided that rather lying bed having ideas about things to write about, I would actually get up and write something! How’s that for ingenuity?

After making a cup of tea, feeding the cat and pondering whether I should take a picture of the moon (it was particularly lovely), I finally turned on the computer and immediately thought of all the things I could read as opposed to actually writing anything. After spending a few minutes tidying up my desktop, I found my fingers hovering over my email account. Why not read some emails followed by a quick check of the news? At some subconscious level I knew that if I could put it off for long enough, the urge to write something of my own would pass, leaving me feeling slightly disappointed in myself.

Why we are so good at procrastinating?

I think there are a couple of answers to this question. The first and most obvious answer is fear. Writing makes you vulnerable and the more honest you are, the more vulnerable you become. There is nothing to be done about this. If you don’t write honestly, your writing will be boring and shallow. At the beginning of every new project there is a moment of fear and this is normal and natural.

Secondly, most of us are lazy. All creative activities require effort. Again, there is no cure for this. It doesn’t matter how much you practice and how good you are, it’s always going to be hard work, so just accept it.

I’m also a little out of practice as I haven’t written anything for a while (more about that later), so there’s an extra fear that I’ve forgotten how to write – not very likely since I write things at work every day.

Fortunately I reached a happy compromise which involved reading back over my own posts. This made me feel a bit more confident and inspired me to get back on the horse. It also meant that I had to take some of my own advice and just get on with it. There’s nothing mysterious about writing and nothing to be gained from not making the effort, so here we go…

You should be hearing from me a lot more over the next few months. Won’t that be nice!

What about you? Are you a champion procrastinator? What do you do to avoid doing the real work?

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