“Write what you feel and not what you think someone else feels.”
Stephen Sondheim

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

In Which I Come Clean About This Procrastination Thing
Tue 2008-10-28 08:07:50 (in context)
  • 2,000 words (if poetry, lines) long

Today is not a sleep-until-noon Tuesday. It can't be. Not with 18,000 words to go and four days to do it in.

At times like these, one might ask oneself, "Well, how did I get here?" And one might thereafter find oneself with Talking Heads songs stuck in the brain. And no good answer. I mean, this happens every single time I have a deadline ("same as it ever was... same as it ever was..."), and it gets worse every time.

When fledgling writers consider out loud the possibility of quitting their 9 to 5 jobs to pursue the dream full time, they often receive financial advise. "Don't do it unless you have six months/a year/three years worth of income saved up," say the gurus. "Don't do it unless you're married to someone with a paycheck." (I was. I am. I'm lucky.) It's more rare that the advice they get concerns time management. At least, I didn't get that kind of advice. I had to find out for myself what happens when I have all day, every day, to write.

You know what happens? I don't write. I lie back and I think, "I have all day!" And I sleep late and putter around and play games and read blogs and nap with my nose in books and take long soaks in the tub, and suddenly I don't have all day anymore. Ditto when deadline's still a month off. "I have all month!"

Today, happily, I woke up going, "I have all day - I should be able to knock off 10,000 words easily," and I stayed awake. Fired up the computer. Decided on a work and reward cycle that might keep me going all day (2,000 words, fifteen minutes of Puzzle Pirates, another 2,000 words, etc). Started the work part of that cycle. Started going over my notes. Started writing.

So what am I doing taking time off to blog? I dunno. Confessing, maybe. Usually, when I get to this point in a procrastinated project, I disappear from view, ashamed, and I don't resurface until I can proudly tell the world "Thunk!" (Which, of course, means, "I'm done! Finally! Yay! Gonna collapse now.") And I suppose I'm interested this time in keeping a record. I mean, there's my word count. Here's my statement of intent. Let's come back at the end of the day and see how the day played out.

After today I pretty much have Thursday. Friday's my deadline. And both Friday and Wednesday will be spent at the office until 3 PM and then in full-blown NaNoWriMo prep mode (a meet-up Wednesday night and the kick-off party Friday night). So it comes domn to two more-than-full-time days. Can't afford to do the usual Tuesday "I've got all day!" thing.

So that's where I'm at. I would say, "hopefully I will be at a better place tonight," except "hopefully" is the wrong word entirely. "With luck" is also wrong, for the same reason. As usual, the solution to not having written is to write. Neither hope nor luck enter the equation. So we'll say this:

Workfully, I'll be halfway out of the hole in another twelve hours or so.