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That extra cup of tea, finishing one last chapter of a book we’re reading, walking around the garden admiring the flowers, deciding a cupboard needs a sort out or a room has to be deep-cleaned right now…
Why is it that each of the above can have added allure when we are supposed to be getting on with our work in progress?
Procrastination seems to be something that affects most writers: a glance at the conversations on the ACW Facebook page reveals many of us talking about all the chores we are doing instead of writing – or the cups of tea and cheesecake we are about to enjoy ;)
I’m what I would describe as a ‘jobbing writer’. Most of my work revolves around commissioned articles, Bible study notes and what I would call ‘study guide books’. I’ve also always had a really determined, organised sense of drive regarding my work. So whatever editing or writing has needed to be done has been the priority and I’ve not allowed myself to be distracted by all the things that surround in my home (as that’s where I work from).
I will go so far as to admit to sometimes not being able to relate too well to how other people are struggling with procrastination. However the pull of procrastination has hit me big time in recent weeks. You see, I’m trying to work on my next book in between other (paid) writing jobs but there is something about it that makes it so much harder. It is the book that I’ve longed to write for years – and that is probably why every revision and every time I am about to go back to look at it I have to work up to it for a little while.
In all honesty I suppose I’m scared – of not being able to convey what I want to; of not getting it into a format that will interest publishers; of not being able to finish it. Fortunately I had a really productive day with the project yesterday – but it took me a good few hours to get into it.
I’ve always viewed procrastination as the enemy: I fit my work into my kids’ school hours so any wasting of time is seen as negative and unnecessary. However, writing from the heart involves so much soul searching, so much wrestling, that perhaps we need that little period of procrastination to gear ourselves up to the next writing session.
Maybe I’m just embracing more procrastination because of where I’m currently at, or perhaps my eyes have been opened to how a little bit of procrastination can be a good thing (especially if it involves cheesecake!).
Claire is a freelance writer and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Guide: Managing Conflict and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes a regular column for Christian Today as well as Bible study notes. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.