Do You Procrastinate?

I’ve been told that as a writer, if your story doesn’t grip you by the throat, and you keep putting off your writing—that’s a bad sign. It means your story sucks.

 In case this procrastination continues, and you have to force your writing for a few days, I’m told, you should consider a change of career. You aren’t cut out to be a writer.

I do procrastinate sometimes. And yes, my stories refuse to cooperate with me.

But I’ve never found that enough grounds for quitting as a writer. Sometimes, discipline is hard to come by and all I have to do is grit my teeth and just do the best I can with what I have. Just write. And I do just that—most of the time.

Writer or not, are you a procrastinator?  And if you’re a writer, do all your stories write themselves from beginning to end without a struggle?

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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  1. oldegg

    Thanks for you visit. Don't be afraid of writers block. Personally if I have difficulty I move into the story's environment myself and just observe my characters doing their thing with me just watching and listening too. Let them decide how they want to play out the story. Listen to them talk to each other but try not to interfere. This way in my current Maori story the characters come out with extraordinary conversation and wisdom which is definitely not me speaking! Well in other words go crazy! It helps.

  2. kelworthfiles

    Hi Damyanti!

    Yes, I procrastinate sometimes – more often with editing than first drafts. A lot of the time, it's not that the story doesn't excite me, but I'm a little blocked on how to get from A to B – or to Z.

  3. Empty Nest Insider

    I'm an avid procrastinator when it comes to many things. I'm still stuck on the letter "A," but have bounced around a little through the alphabet. Looking forward to seeing you in April! Julie

  4. Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5)

    I am such a procrastinator!! But for my writing, my stories usually write them selves. Sometimes I will get stuck and have to put the story away until inspiration knocks me over the head, but I have never thought about quitting!!

  5. M Pax

    If that were true, there'd be no writers and nothing published. lol

    Sometimes I think it's just my brain wanting a break, or more time to compost things. I usually do something else…update websites, etc…, get my ledgers up-to-date, write blog posts.

  6. Patricia Lynne

    o.O I've never had anyone say that to me. lol I don't think I'd consider it true either. Procrastination happens and maybe it's our subconscious telling us we've been working too hard and is forcing a break on us. 😉

  7. Damyanti

    Thanks for all the replies! I feel better about not giving up.

    I guess the muse does not always dance to the tune. The idea is to show up everyday, write what comes, and hope for the best. Sounds really miserable I know, but that is what the majority of writers do, even the good ones.

  8. Jocelyn Rish

    I'm a tried and true procrastinator, and I don't think that means my stories suck (man, I hope not!). I think procrastination is born of a lot of things. For me, I love the rush of pushing up against a deadline. That's when my creativity truly soars. So I procrastinate to create that rush. Maybe I'd write better if I paced myself, but it honestly feels like the stories born in those moments are the best I have inside me.

  9. Heather Murphy

    I don't procrastinate on purpose but I am easily distracted 🙂 When I'm on my game I'm all or nothing. I will jump in head first until I can't take anymore then fall back for a while.

  10. Annalisa Crawford

    I have been writing for submission since I was sixteen, and procrastinating since I was about seventeen – that's a good few years now! But I always come up with something I'm proud of.

    I just can't write as though I was in business – ie. turn up at my desk at 9 and work through to 5. It comes in the middle of the night, and then nothing all day. It seems like a very simplistic viewpoint.

    (I've got washing in the machine from this morning that I haven't taken out yet – I can proscrastinate over any amount of things in my life.)

  11. Loree Huebner

    I've never heard that your writing/story stinks if you procrastinate.

    I do procrastinate sometimes…doesn't everyone? It may be because I work better under pressure. I always have. I don't think that it takes away from my writing.

    Interesting post.

  12. Gossip_Grl

    I am a bad procrastinator. I think though as a writer there are times that you have to step back, everyone needs a breather or you could face a burnout.

  13. Rek

    I procrastinate often. Some stories suck even though they start out smoothly enough, no matter what I do to make them better. I don't know if it has something to do with writer or the idea but not everything we write is going to be perfect or submittable.

  14. Li

    I don't agree that procrastination is a bad thing. Some stories leap onto the page, fully formed. Others, I toy with and look at from several angles; sometimes they are on the back burner for weeks, and my subconscious works on them until the right beginning, ending, or character presents itself.

  15. Shirley Wells

    There are days when I will do anything rather than sit down and get some words written. I'll clean dishes, sweep floors – anything. A rapidly approaching deadline usually cures me. 🙂

    Someone, and I can't remember who, said procrastination was all down to fear of the blank page, fear that the words wouldn't be as good as we wanted them to be. I often think there's a grain of truth in that.

  16. booksbyjason

    I used to feel that way sometimes. There was nothing that happened to change it, I just realized I needed to be more prolific and it wasn't going to happen if I didn't do it. That meant it was time to write.

    But, with that said I still have times where I'm too burned out by the day job or other stressors in life to even pretend to be creative. At that time I need escapism. It comes either from reading or mindless violent video games. After some of that I'm ready to jump back in!

    And my mother said violence doesn't fix anything…

  17. Rick G

    Personally I think that's bs. Some stories slip out like they're lubed up with brain (which sounds kinda dirty now that I write 😉 , others require more work. That being said, I haven't personally noticed any correlation between how fast I write it and how much the story does/doesn't suck.

  18. augustmclaughlin

    I personally believe that if writing seems flawless and easy, we're doing something wrong. 😉 I'm not a procrastinator, but we all face challenges. I had to learn, for example, not to send my work out as soon as I hit 'the end,' and that outlining is useful.

  19. Misha Gericke

    No. Drafting is something that takes a lot of time for me because my mind makes me stop for long periods of time while it works out plot issues.

    I almost envy those arrogant people who manage to write easily all the time. :-/