Monday, October 17, 2016

Being Clever about Procrastination #PNIWritingChallenge Day 1

I think it's kind of funny how the very first topic for this new thirty day challenge has us talking about procrastination. I don't procrastinate! Not me. Not ever. It's just Monday, that's all.

I'm a cat. I don't procrastinate, either. I'm just lazy
I do procrastinate. Yes indeed I do. Although I will say that usually I have so many things to do - honestly - that my writing suffers not from procrastination, but because it always gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile.

I'm working on that. I swear I am.

You see, I have a daughter who is preparing to take her ACT test in February. I also have a son who is a freshman this year. Homeschooling high school is a challenge. Not because my kids make it difficult, but because there are a lot of things I need to make sure are done and taken care of in order to help them move on to college. I have been organizing transcripts, (which every student needs, public, private or home schooled) and making sure all my ducks are in a row. Those ducks are wily. They're always quacking and waddling out of place. 

I'm also running what's become a rather successful editing business. I've been pleasantly surprised by how much work I've gotten in the last nearly six months since I decided to start up Wing Family Editing. I'm not complaining, mind you. Quite the opposite. I'm very, very happy that I've been asked to edit as much as I have. 

I've come to the conclusion that I don't write like a lot of my other author friends. I don't force myself to write if I don't feel it. When I do that, I just end up writing crap, and then I have to scrap it and rewrite it all over again. That frustrates me. That makes me unhappy. I don't write well when I'm frustrated or unhappy. Tired? Now that's a whole different story. I've come up with some pretty awesome stuff when I've been tired.

I'm working on my fifth novel right now, so I feel comfortable enough to say that I've seen a pattern emerge in my writing style. If the muse is off partying it up elsewhere, there's no point in me sitting at the computer and forcing anything but trash can filler. When the muse is ready to come and hang out, my fingers fly. I go for days without story writing, then BAM! I sit for hours at a time without moving and the word count stacks up.

Still, I have been working on a better schedule. I write for myself in the morning usually. Sometimes it's a blog post, sometimes it's story writing. I teach school during the day. (Someday I'll be free of Algebra ... I've got a couple years of that left, though.) Sometimes I'll continue writing during our lunch break, and then after school and after dinner is when I usually put in several hours of editing work. Sometimes it varies, but I try to stick with it.

I do get distracted. There's Facebook and Instagram. There's YouTube and Spotify. (I can't listen to music and write at the same time. I can't focus. Either I'm writing or singing. I can't do both.) There's daily life. There are distractions aplenty, and I fall for a great deal of them. Still, procrastination doesn't feel like it's that big a problem. If I could just tack on a few extra hours to my day, I'd probably be able to get a hell of a lot more accomplished.