Procrastinating about procrastination–pathetic!

So I have been procrastinating writing my post about procrastinating—pathetic! I have tried all kinds of tricks to get myself started: opening a document on my computer, writing down notes, discussing ideas with a colleague. But my attempts to action have also been accompanied by distractions that I have created: choosing just the right background music, making coffee, getting water, answering every email the second it pops onto my screen. What is it about actually putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard that sometimes feels like being stuck in mud? I think our procrastination (or at least mine) stems from a couple of things. For me, if I value the writing I am trying to produce, then there is a lot of pressure to “get it right,” and thus my hesitation that I might get it “wrong.” Also, my procrastination is often triggered by genres or topics with which I am not completely comfortable (e.g. blogging), and so I let that hesitation I feel about my (in)effectiveness bog me down.
The problem with procrastinating about writing is that it’s not like waiting to do a sink full of dirty dishes or folding the laundry. Writing is a process, not a discrete activity. It takes time to move an idea from conception through to a product that accurately and effectively conveys a message through the written word. There are no “take-backs” or clarifying Q&A sessions with a finished piece of writing—the writing has to stand on its own, able to answer the questions readers will ask of it through its language and craft. And that just takes time. It takes time for the brainstorming, the planning, the organization, the drafting , the revising, the revising, the revising, and the editing. Writing furiously typed out at 3am for a class at 8 reads just like what it is: writing thrown together at the last minute.
I wish I had not waited so long to write this blog. Perhaps I would have been more effective if I had honored the writing process. Oh, well…next time.

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