By Liz, happy to have survived this weekend’s heat wave.
I’ve been working on some projects since I turned my next book in earlier this month. One is a suspense novel that I’ve been working on in some form or another for… well, I’m not going to tell you how long because it would be embarrassing. The other is my new business venture that is hovering just steps away from getting off the ground. And it’s more apparent than ever just how good I am at procrastinating.
I’ve known for most of my life that “Last Minute Lucy” is my alter ego. I remember in high school cramming for a major test the night before, trying to memorize the whole book; writing college papers the day before they were due; and other similar feats of pulling something off right in that window before it becomes a major emergency – or a giant screw-up.
I’ve unfortunately translated that to my writing life too, and I’ve been on a mission to bust through the procrastination blocks. In fact, during the writing of this last book (and the book right before that) I swore it would be the last time I put something important off.
So now, here I am with a project with no real deadline aside from the ones I’ve set (and those can be so easily changed, right?) and I’m watching this terrible habit fight to stay alive. I told myself this weekend that I was going to spend a couple hours working on the outline for this book.
But first, there were a few things I needed to take care of. Here are some of the rabbit holes I fell down trying to get to my computer:
- Before I could focus on writing, I had to fold the laundry I’d left sitting in the dryer. Then I needed to put it away. But I didn’t like the way the closet was organized, so that meant I had to fix it. Which meant cleaning out all my old T-shirts and tank tops, and starting a Goodwill bag for all the things that no longer brought me joy. It also meant taking inventory of my shorts, since I was now going to need to buy new tops given everything I was getting rid of. Which meant I had to try them all on. Which made me mad because I didn’t fit into some of them, so then I had to go downstairs to the gym for an hour.
- Once I got back from the gym, I needed a shower. I went to get a towel, and thought those could also be organized differently, including the smaller towels which are in a cabinet in the bathroom. Which then meant I had to clean out and organize the rest of the cabinets, because things could definitely be a lot neater in there, and hey, there’s the eyeliner I haven’t seen in ages! Which made me think I needed to organize my makeup.
- After all that, I was ready to sit down and write. But it occurred to me that I should do a quick refresher with one of my favorite books, Plot Perfect, since I was trying to re-outline this novel. But when I went to my bookshelf, I couldn’t find it. Which made me realize I was long overdue in organizing and cleaning out my bookshelves. No small task, if you’re like me or, I suspect, any of us reading this blog.
- Four hours later the shelves were in way better shape, I had two bags of books to donate to the library, and Plot Perfect was in my hands. But then it was dinner time, and how can you write hungry? And since my refrigerator was kind of empty, a trip to the grocery store seemed to be in order…
Readers, what are your favorite ways to procrastinate a task? Tell me in the comments!