Due to a technical issue, I recently transferred this blog to a new host. Please contact me if you find any broken links or other problems.

What Are You Losing By Procrastinating?

by Jennifer on August 25, 2009

 By Jennifer Blanchard

Have you ever really thought about why you procrastinate?

When you procrastinate, you gain a lot. That’s the reason why writers procrastinate in the first place.

Think about the last time you procrastinated—What did you get out of it? Did you avoid your writing by finally organizing your office? Did you skip your writing session to wash and wax your car?

While you might not have ended up with any words on the page, you did end up with a reorganized office and a clean, shiny car.

But what are giving up by procrastinating?

For example, when you skip your writing session to take your dog for a walk, your dog is happy because he got out of the house; you’re happy because you got some exercise, spent time with your dog and didn’t have to face all those things that writing forces you to face—your fears, your doubts, your innermost thoughts.

But those things will all still be there when you get back.

Writing can be pretty intimidating at first—Writing is documenting your words, your thoughts. It’s putting down on paper things you’ve created. And people are going to read your words (unless you’re not writing for publication).

That can be very intimidating.

Try looking at things from a different perspective, though, and you’ll start to realize that, by procrastinating, you are giving up so much.

You’re giving up your opportunity to put your words out there. You’re giving up your chance to tell the world your stories. You’re letting your characters slip away, without a shot at being heard.

You’re giving up a creative outlet. You’re giving up that little voice inside that says, “I want to be a writer.” You’re letting go of someting before you even attempt it.

And with the loss of all those opportunities comes the loss of your writing dreams.

So procrastinating does feel good, until you finally realize you’ve been walking down a dead-end road over and over again.

If writing is important to you, you need to make it a priority.

There are several things that are high on your priority list currently, but if writing is not one of them, you’re heading in the wrong direction (assuming that you actually do want to write).

It is your choice—Either you want to write or you don’t.

There is no other option. If you want to be an author and write for a living or if you want to make an extra income off your writing, you have to sit down and write.

So it’s decision time: Is writing important to you or not? Do you want to write or not?

Ed. Note: This is part one in a three-part series on Making Writing a Priority that I’ll be running over the next two days. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss tomorrow’s post: Accepting Personal Responsibility or Thursday’s post: What DoYou Want To Achieve?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Larry August 26, 2009 at 7:35 am

Powerful stuff here. We need to get to the root of our procrastination. Are we blocked — there’s a cure for that — or are we by nature a procrastinator? This important topic resides at the very heart of the success equation.

This works every time: go visit a cemetary. Look down at those headstones and wonder what unfinished dreams reside beneath that ground, and what those souls would say to you if you confessed your procrastination to them. You’ll get an answer, right then and there. And it’ll be because you asked.

Procrastination is a choice. You are not its victim, you are its master. At the heart of every choice resides the courage — or not — to face a potentially painful truth. Are you a writer? The choice is yours. Because if you choose procrastination instead of the work, then perhaps you’re kidding yourself. Sitting down at the blank page is the ante-in to the writing game, the toll you must pay. Where else is this showing up in your life, that you cannot face the one single choice that swings open the door to a dream that you claim to hold dear?

I look forward to the rest of the series. Thanks for gifting us with it.

2 jblan August 26, 2009 at 10:32 am

@Larry Well said! And I like your idea about visiting a cemetary. Although it may seem like a dark thing to do, it’s actually a great way to force yourself to face the fact that we all have a very short time on this planet before we are gone. Do you really want to let procrastination stop you from reaching your writing dreams?

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: