Home > Writing > On writing: the inevitability of procrastination

On writing: the inevitability of procrastination

February 16, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Though the latter part of the article below devolves into a discussion of millennials and so-called Trophy Kids, it is actually a good read on the subject of writers and procrastination and some of the whys behind it all.

We writers procrastinate, don’t we?


  1. February 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I haven’t read the article yet–I’ve bookmarked it for when I have more time–but I think one of my biggest reasons for procrastination is that the project can seem overwhelming. Thus, it’s easier to not start it at all. I find that if I write down a small part of my WIP that I’ll work on each day, it’s much easier to approach. For example, if I know that tomorrow, I need to better flesh out two of my characters, that’s a lot less daunting than coming up with a three-thousand word pivotal scene. Or, if I must tackle the scene, I’ll tell myself the day’s goal will just be to come up with the main conflict and resolution–I can write the specifics later. Often I’ll end up doing more, but if I at least accomplish the small task I set for myself, I feel much better.

  2. kirbyp
    February 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I read this article yesterday Dave, and completely agree. I wasn’t sure why it devolved into the Trophy Kids discussion, but otherwise it was an interesting read.

  3. February 17, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Thanks for sharing this article, Dave! Glad to know I’m not alone when it comes to procrastinating. I’m the same way at my day job, too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • February 17, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      LOL. I have my moments where I procrastinate at my day job as well. Now, if I can just rid myself of this nasty case of writing procrastination that hits me in the evening, I’ll be doing great.

  4. February 17, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for sharing the article, Dave. I’ll be sure to read it. The only good thing when it comes to procrastination and my writing life is, it guarantees a clean house. : ) I’m not a procrastinator in my day job…perhaps it’s because there’s money involved. Have a great week!

    • February 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Ha ha … unfortunately, when I procrastinate in the evening, I rarely get anything useful done. It’s more like my time is just sucked into the vacuum that is the Internet. Hope your week is awesome.

  5. February 17, 2014 at 7:28 am

    What an interesting article! And I can see that it’s right in a lot of ways. I don’t let myself procrastinate any more, I find the only way to get things done is to…well…get things done, so I make sure it happens. But I have to put a LOT of will power and effort into making sure I make sure it happens, if that makes any sense. I’m talking being uber-strict about my social life, purposely putting aside whole weekends where I plan to do nothing else but write, being strict with my hoursework: it all gets done on a Thursday night so that I don’t have any other jobs to distract me the rest of the week AND, whenever fiscally possible, I book time away from home in writing retreats where I don’t have to cook or clean or do the shopping.

    It also helps I ahve no children, major commute or TV…but these are the lengths needed that I have to go to to make sure procrastination doesn’t happen.

    • February 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      I know what you mean about the self-discipline required to overcome the natural tendency to procrastinate. It’s tough to do, too. Up until now, I haven’t yet found a way to successfully fight off the procrastination on a regular basis, but I’m still working on it. There really does need to be a great deal of intentionality directed toward our writing if we ever hope to get much done. I like the idea of leaving the house and heading off somewhere to do nothing but write. I’ve talked with my wife about the idea and she’s supportive. Sounds like a wonderful way to concentrate on my writing every so often.

      As for distractions, my children are all grown and I have zero commute (since I work from home). However, I do have a TV and I confess to getting sucked into some television shows. There are times I really wish I could chuck the TV, but that’s not going to happen. So I really just need to learn to live with it and be careful about how much time I sit in front of the idiot-box.

  6. February 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I know it goes against 95% of the advice, but sometimes I don’t feel like writing, and when I don’t, my writing won’t be as good. Eventually I’ll finish. I hope.

    • February 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      I’ve had success and failure when writing even when I don’t feel like it, or when I’m completely uninspired. Sometimes I write complete crap, while other times, after a painful ramp up period, I end up writing some pretty good stuff. I’m best off if I push myself to write through these periods. In the end I think get more good stuff than bad.

  7. February 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I’m procrastinating right now! Lol. I’m supposed to be writing, but, well…I can’t stop listening to music and reading. *sigh*

    • February 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      That’s awesome. I’m procrastinating, too. How? Why I’m sitting here blogging instead of writing ๐Ÿ™‚

      • February 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm

        We should form a support group, lol.

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