I thought it was just me, but no, most writers procrastinate.
It’s not only common, it’s expected.
Professional authors, as opposed to amateurs with access to a laptop—uh, that would be me—have coping mechanisms. Things likes deadlines, agents, and editors who aren’t their relatives. People who smack them upside the head and say, “Get to work.”
My coping mechanisms are Netflix, computer games, and online shopping. Oh, and reading. Reading other people’s books, people who write better than I ever will.
Ah, you noticed that, did you? Fine, I don’t have coping mechanisms. I have a carefully curated selection of aiding and abetting mechanisms.
Full disclosure? Procrastination and I have always been embarrassingly intimate. Avoidance is pretty much part of my DNA, and definitely part of my writing style. Sometimes though, the why and when of it surprise me.
Olympic marathons of procrastination before I type the first word of a new book, mini-sprints at the start of each new chapter, these I understand. Comes with the territory when you don’t draft outlines. When you have no map to follow, and each chapter is a leap into the unknown.
Yesterday however, I hit a new level of avoidance. Two paragraphs into a new chapter, the trail emerged, breadcrumbs spreading out before me, and knew where I wanted to go—and I hit save. Walked away from my desk.
Procrastinating because an empty white page is daunting, that I understand. But procrastinating when the way forward lights up in front of you?
That’s a new low, even for me.