These seem to walk together hand in hand, and it can be bloody hard to separate them.
A friend of mine, Cassie, wrote a blog recently about Barriers of Her Own Making. Basically she was revising a novel, and wanted to add in a new scene, but couldn’t seem to make it happen. I have had the same experience too. I had a scene that I wanted to continue on with, but didn’t really now how to do that. But rather than try and work at it, I procrastinated.
And it is only recently I have realised that procrastion and Depression really do go together for me. If I can’t find a reason for doing something, I will stop and think about it. And I can think about it for days. And rather than just go ahead and do it, I will come up with every excuse under the sun why I can’t.
But that is another problem too. Making excuses. It is easy to do, but I shouldn’t. I can get up and clean the house if I want to, I just chose not to because I would rather focus on how big a job it would be, rather than how quickly I could get it done if I just got up and did it.
Its a bit like my writing. I wanted to move on from that scene, but I couldn’t do it. And I would actually get up and clean the house, feed the cats, make tea, change the sheets, do the washing, go and visit friends, work for my husband, play on social media, everything except what I should have done. And it wasn’t until last week I realised that the solution was simple.
Move onto a scene that I knew was coming up. The fantastic thing was, a couple of weeks ago I received an email from Fiction University about how to plot backwards, and I thought that was a fantastic way to do it. I have my protagonist at a point, how how did he get there, where had he come from? What made him / her make that decision?
So last week, I started making time in my day to do at least a thousand words. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for someone who hasn’t written a significant amount in a few weeks, it is a lot. But when I picked a scene I wanted to write, it just flowed out of me. Which is pretty darned cool actually.
I do have some scenes which are hanging in midair at the moment, but I will tie them in, and if they don’t fit, I can either use them elsewhere, or dump them.
So, I have learnt that I need to be more proactive and make time, because time doesn’t make time, and I can chose to be busy, or have time to do some writing.
What is your procrastination problem?