There are many stages of procrastination. I am currently at the giddy stage. Are you familiar with it?
I was always a good kid, did what I was told and waited for the praise to come. So when I procrastinate on things there is always a moment when my heart starts to race, my hands start to fidget and I get this incessant need to giggle uncontrollably. This is where I’m at now. I’m waiting for someone, someone that sounds like my mother, to come trudging into the room to tell me to turn off the tv and do my homework. Only that voice never comes. Instead, I get Sparky’s voice asking “You want to watch CSI?” A little giggle escapes and I look nervously at the computer.
Guilt and recklessness rage war in my psyche. I start to bite my fingernails and weigh my decision as if he asked me to choose a favorite amongst my kids. I throw caution to the wind and say “CSI”. I can always write afterwards or tomorrow morning, right?
I feel good. I’ve made a decision. I actually start to feel better about myself. My heart is no longer racing and the need to giggle has subsided. I am in control! It feels great, freeing!
Then I see my computer’s power light. The light comes on then slowly drifts off, almost like its sleeping, a slow breathing. I feel bad. My computer is sleeping and its all alone. I hear a small, childlike voice murmur, “That’s alright, it worked hard today. Let it sleep.” But I know that’s not true. I checked email, I checked Twitter, Facebook and read other author blogs but I really didn’t work on anything.
Hmm, other author blogs. That thought nags at my tv-addled brain.
I hear another voice. A silky tenor whose words drift into my mind like a light mist wafting off of a twilight pond. I start to get lost in its lyrical rhythm telling me that those writers became authors because they wrote. “You want to be an author and not just a writer?” it questions. “Then get your butt off of the sofa and move it to your writing chair at the dining room table that is currently acting as your writing desk.” (This voice can get a little testy when I procrastinate too long.)
This voice empowers me, it entices me. Then it challenges me.
This sexy, lilting voice dares me to write. It tells me that the only one standing in my way is me. It asks me if I’m strong enough to stand up to myself, to stand up to my insecurities. I immediately jump off the sofa and scream “YES, I CAN!” and run to the dining room.
Sparky just sits there and continues to watch CSI.
See, this is a nightly occurrence. Everyday I fight with myself to write and from what I’ve read from other blogs, it seems like it will be a daily thing. It’s like being a recovering alcoholic but reversed. Each day they wake up and choose not to drink. I wake up everyday and chose to write. Sometimes resistance gets me, sometimes it doesn’t. But each day I make a choice. And today I just did.
How do you handle procrastination? Do you make yourself sit down and do the task at hand? Or do you wait until the adrenaline rush from procrastinating hurls you toward inspiration to finish your job?
As always, these questions are for anyone to answer. You don’t have to be a writer, author, or a disembodied, silky, tenor voice to answer. If you have an opinion, suggestion, idea or story, feel free to share!