Friday, June 21, 2013

Perfect Conditions for Procrastinators

I’m not often a procrastinator. I’m a go-getter, mover, shaker, but I’ve never been a candlestick maker.  I get things done.  I’ve been charging through life, well, pretty much my whole life.  I’m a decision maker.  Once I’ve made a decision, I’m almost impossible to stop.  Why am I that way?  Maybe because I’ve always had to fight for everything in my life, nothing was just handed to me, and often, even what I had was taken from me.  Most people call this drive.  I call it determination – settling the mind to a specific task or course of action, and follow through.

However, this year, I’ve found myself participating in a lot of procrastination.  Not because I was incapable, but numb.  I don’t apologize for it.  I understand the need for the season.  What I’ll never understand, is those who choose to stay in it for long periods of time. 

Week after week, I watch the same group of writers talk, play, argue, and proceed to give everyone else in the world their advice and opinion on every subject, YET do no writing.  OR, they start writing, but when the first tug of difficulty appears, instead of pushing through it, they go back to all those other devices that enable their procrastination.  I know, I did it, too.  This really breaks my heart.  There’s so much talent and potential wasted in the land of procrastination.

When I’ve tried to inspire some of these procrastinators to get to work, I’m met with excuse after excuse, as if they’re waiting on the perfect opportunity to fall in their lap that will magically give them the energy and drive to do what they need to do.  Don’t get me wrong, I love magic, I just don’t believe in it.

There will NEVER be a perfect time.  The moment you’re waiting for, the one that will inspire you and give you what you need to write, will be the moment you CHOOSE to act.  I can almost guarantee it won’t be ideal, convenient, or opportunistic, but requiring determination, dedication and drive.  It will hurt, stretch you, test you and often push you to your limit, but it is only one moment, and it too shall pass.

I’ve heard writers tell me they only write when their muse hits them with overwhelming strength.  These are also the same writers still working on the same story year after year.  Set aside all those things that distract you and pull you away from doing what you know must be done.  Push through the walls that pop up in front of you.  Dig in.  I’m not telling you something I don’t know anything about.  I have to do the same thing EVERY DAY.  I had to do it this morning.  I have to do it now just to finish this blog post.

Silence the phone.  Close down your internet browser.  Don’t read the forums.  Close your email (don’t just minimize), cut off the television or music, lock your door and sit down and make one small goal to accomplish.  THEN, make yourself push through that one goal.  Stop waiting for the perfect moment, because it’s already here. 

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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