Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Have Issues, Ya'all...



I was talking to a dear friend yesterday about taking breaks in writing - and I realized, with a bit of a shock, how long the breaks between my projects (novels...not counting my NF stuff) actually are. I finished my last book (first draft, not revisions) a year ago, almost exactly. A. YEAR. AGO.

Why on earth haven't I started something new yet? Well, let me rephrase. Why on earth haven't I FINISHED something new yet?

Really, what is my deal? I've got ideas coming out my ears. I have more first chapters than you can shake a stick at. I have playlists and outlines and revision notes and partials and even a query letter or two...but another finished project - nope, not here!

So - I've been doing a bit of thinking about why it's so hard for me to start something new. I've come up with three main issues (and we are going to take these one day at a time so this post doesn't end up a mini novel on its own):

1. I am Queen of excuses - I am Empress of Procrastination - I can talk your EAR off (my ever-loving and beyond sweet crit buddies can attest to this) about why I haven't/can't/shouldn't/won't start something new. And I'm not just pulling crap out of thin air - these are GOOD excuses :D I mean, I really do have stuff going on...just sayin' :D


So, seeing as how I can pull 100 legitimate (and several thousand not so legitimate) reasons for remaining new projectless out of my...er, hat *ahem* at any given time, what am I going to do about it?

Well, in my procrastinating musings and rummaging through awesome book collection, I came across a few handy little quotes that nailed me right on the head :)

Solution to #1: Awesomeness by Nicholson Baker:

Sit in sun. Sun goes behind cloud. Look at watch. Notice that second-hand does not always point directly at little marks on dial. Sometimes it does, though. Then sometimes it doesn't. Why? Feel panic at how quickly life slips by. Get to work.

Life does slip quickly by. All those excuses I dole out are just that - excuses. Excuses, for no real reason at all, for putting off something I love and want to do  - Solution - get off butt and get to work.

Stay tuned tomorrow for reason and solution #2 - in the meantime, how is everyone out there doing? Do you have issues with starting new projects? Do I have any rivals for Empress/Emperor of Procrastination?

13 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?

Just kidding, I have that procrastination problem too (obviously).

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I'm the same. I have another project that I'm putting off, and ideas galore. There just always seems to be something interesting to do when I decide it's time to start...tv, reading, blogging...see, I'm doing it now. :)

Kristi Helvig said...

I procrastinate all the time, but writing is my method of procrastination. I'll say, "Oh, I'll do the laundry after I do one more revision" or "I'll vacuum after one more chapter." The house is a mess at times, but the writing is coming along!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Time really does go way too fast, doesn't it? It took me four years to finish my first novel and I have no idea how. ARH!

Christine Fonseca said...

Hmm...let me guess who you were talking to about LONG BREAKS ;D

Michelle McLean said...

LOL the same person I talk about everything else with :D *hugs!*

lbdiamond said...

Yeah, I'm totally in a slump now. I figure it's my brain's way of telling me I need a break before I burn out. The problem with stopping is that it's hard to start up again...yeah.

So I've been doing some beta reading--fun!!!! It helps me get inspired and I feel productive at the same time. Plus, I get to share in someone's creative endeavor. So cool.

My plan is to actually schedule writing time in. Seriously, write it in my day planner. Saturday--write!!! (Well, more like revise, LOL!)

Great post! :D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have a project I'm looking forward to start, but I have to finish editing the one I'm working on. But soon. Very soon.

I done the staring at the watch thing before. Micholson's right. The second hand doesn't alway land on the little mark. :D

Stephanie McGee said...

Good luck! I'll get back to you tomorrow on whether I have procrastination issues. :D

Interesting post.

A Pen In Neverland: Angela Peña Dahle said...

Ha ha! I honestly get it! Ideas...yup they are coming out of my ears too. IT is so much easier for me to do a Childrens PB than to write a novel and finish it or go back and edit it. I will. You will see. I will get to it. While I am saying that though, have a little laugh with me and repeat this three times "I will expend more effort." LOL. Just don't take a nap after you say it. Hee hee! Oh and thanks for the follow. You are always welcome in Neverland.

www.a-pen-in-neverland.blogspot.com

Angela said...

I definitely have procrastination issues. When I write, nothing else gets done. I can sit at the computer for hours and put out as many as 30 pages per day on a first draft. It's a commitment. So, my problem is finding time to make such a commitment. I won't work on my next project until I know I can devote my whole life to it (which probably means waiting until next winter).

Regina Quentin said...

Same problem here. I have so many ideas that it is hard for me to narrow it down to one at a time so that I can pursue and finish ideas. I started making a running list of all my ideas and I also forced myself to make an active list of the 2-3 things I'm working on (as well as a daily to-do list). I'm a bit of a list person, but it has helped me complete a few projects. Inspiration came when I realized (like the quote you included says) life is slipping by at a fast clip.

Carolyn V. said...

It's too easy for me to procrastinate. I'm trying really hard to stick to a schedule. I'll let you know tomorrow if I do it (or maybe the next day...or the next.) hee hee. =)