Re: Re: The Cure For Writer Procrastination

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I appreciate your thoughts, and mostly agree!

I have had to designate certain times of the day for writing. That’s where I make my choice. For instance, my daughter’s nap times are now writing times instead of catch up with housework times. I still waffle a little everyday with this, however, because I feel like my husband is putting in his 9-5 (at a job he doesn’t love) so I should be doing something to contribute more. Hopefully, there will come a day when I can contribute through writing, but since I don’t get pre-paid, well…

As for hiring out, you’re right about us not being able to do that much right now. And trust me, our yard and house are not immaculate. In fact, I think the ivy in our front yard is slowly being taken over by poison ivy. It’s embarrassing. I also make choices such as not watching t.v., staying up later, etc.

I suppose I was trying to explain that procrastination and motivation for any creative person can be complex issues. I can use housework (or any ‘should’) as an excuse to avoid something (and I definitely have), but there can be other reasons that I choose to procrastinate over being creative. There are also seasons of life. During times when I’ve grieved over the loss of close loved ones, it has been harder for me to be creative. I also wrestle with insecurities that can make some writing sessions seem like battles, after which I am exhausted. I guess it does come down to getting my butt in the chair and just writing something, whether I feel like it or not, but I wanted to counter those who seem to think that procrastination calls into question whether the procrastinator really loves to write. In addition, though I love to write, there is no getting around that it is sometimes hard work, and I can just be lazy. It’s hard thinking, problem solving, and once I’m in it, I remember I love it, but I might initially hesitate.

In the 2006 Writer’s Market, the editor, Kathryn Brogan writes, “Finding time to write and experiencing writer’s block are inherent to writing; however, it’s up to the writer to figure out what’s causing these things to happen and, more importantly, how to conquer them.” Several articles follow that address the hindrances to writing, including writer’s block and procrastination, and give suggestions for how to overcome them. If these are not valid struggles for valid writers, then there wouldn’t be articles like this in such a professional resource, not to mention the proliferation of books and articles on these subjects in other places.

With that said, if hiring a coach helps someone overcome their blocks, why knock it and call into question their validity as a writer? When I coached track, we had many young runners who wanted to be there, but needed an external push. They were inexperienced and undisciplined. I knew when I saw Willie, a skinny eighth grader, run to me with tears in his eyes after winning his first 800, his first race for that matter, that he had benefited from a little pushing. That was part of our job as coaches, to not only lay out a training plan, but to be motivators. Why couldn’t a writing coach be helpful in the same way? My writing ‘coaches’ just happen to be free – friends and family and writing mentors to whom I can go and ask questions or be encouraged. If someone doesn’t have those resources naturally, why not hire one?

I just want to encourage jlblanchard in the midst of all the debate. I understand what you’re saying, and it looks like your heart is in the right place. You obviously want to be an encourager to others through your blog, and I admire that. People may have different opinions about procrastination and writer’s block, but they do exist, and real writers struggle with them. ABQ is also right when she says we have to get beyond what’s intimidating us. We have to get at the root of it and deal with it there, or we will continue to succumb to its intimidation. There may be several ways to find that root and put the ax to it.