Procrastination was a real problem for me. It is for every writer starting out, probably – I thought my problem was unique until I discovered tumblr, pinterest and other social media making fun little posts about writers procrastinating.
“Why you do procrastinate” My very-workaholic-concerned-about-my writing-career-engineer-very efficient-then-boyfriend-now husband-of-four-months asked all the time.
The first few times I always had an excuse. It was the same excuse I would use on my parents, family and friends. My excuse mostly had to do with me not having enough time.
While most people just accepted that, very-workaholic-concerned-about-my writing-career-engineer-very efficient-then-boyfriend-now husband-of-four-months did not buy it for a long time. He came to the conclusion that I did not really want to become a published writer. When he told me that, I nearly fainted. What? Writing is my oxygen. I write all the time, I just never finish anything. It is my one and only dream to succeed as a writer. I didn’t even care much about success, I just wanted writing to be a sufficient source of income for me. I would be happy then.
And just to prove my point a little more because of the not-so-convinced look about him, I told him how I was different as a child. Unlike other girls, I never thought about my wedding day much. I was very happy I met him afterwards, just my first love was not a boy, but writing; creating worlds out of my own rules. Whenever I wrote I felt I met the most interesting people (imaginary people), and got to follow on their adventures.
“So why don’t you finish anything?” was his usual follow-up question.
Then I felt the same emotion I had every time I was done with the first draft of anything. Pure fear. What if the story is silly? What if the characters are stupid? What if there are plot holes. What if I finish it I show it to people and they tell me I am not meant to be a writer? My world would collapse. I would have no purpose. I couldn’t handle living in a world without purpose, without a dream. What if I fail?
Once he had enough of my excuses, my very workaholic- concerned … well his name is Johnny told me,
“You are afraid of failing? Don’t get me wrong I would be ecstatic if you get to succeed from your first try but who do you think you are, that you can’t handle failing a few times before you make it, while the rest of us try and fail every day in order to succeed.”
Well I might be paraphrasing a bit, but that’s more or less what he told me when I buried my head in my hands. He was right. I shouldn’t be afraid of failure. I did not tell him I was also afraid of the slight possibility of success also.
Anyway, it was a revolutionary moment in my life. Not that I only needed to hear those words in order to become instantly efficient but I did become more and more efficient and I did overcome some of my irrational fears.
Completing the Nanowrimo challenge last November was just one more way I could prove to myself that things can eventually be finished if I keep working at them.
So now, my next challenge is to edit the story I wrote for the challenge. The story is called “What Michelle won’t tell.” And it is about two fraternal twin sisters Danielle and Michelle. Dani thought she knew all about her sister, but things happen and Dani discovers Michelle has been keeping a dangerous secret.
I love mystery/suspense novels; they tell you write about something you love to read about, so I am trying my luck with that.
The odds are not in my favor. This story may not get published ever. That’s OK. I will still try my best and I will still believe in it. I might get disappointed but since I can’t stop writing, I will learn and keep at it. I will try and keep the procrastination beast away from me as much as possible.
Got to go now and edit my story. If I spend more time on my blog I would be procrastinating.