Procrastination as a Strategy

I don’t know why it is, but I sometimes find myself the most inspired to write if it’s avoiding the story I’m SUPPOSED to be writing. I keep peeking around the tree right in front of me to admire the one just a little ways beyond. Why do I feel so compelled to ignore this tree that’s so immediate? The one that requires attention because, if I keep ignoring it, I will bash into it. See, you can’t actually move past the tree if you keep pretending it’s not there. Maybe a some bark-rash would be well deserved.


As it is, I’m currently working on an Appalachian fantasy novel I’ve been chipping away at for a few years, now. I’m supposed to be finishing the last of my Mermaid Underground series–which I’m not ignoring, exactly, just … well, it’s right in front of me, so how can I possibly see it?

Luckily I’m putting off another blog I’m supposed to be working on, otherwise I’d never have written this one!


Maybe it’s not procrastination, after all. Instead of ignoring trees, I’m following the old rule about confronting wild animals: Don’t look them in the eye; they’ll think you’re being aggressive. If I sidle up to the story quiet-like, gazing all the while at the further, less threatening project, then maybe the beast will let me reach my hand out like … this … and stroke its fur. It’s pretty soft, if you can overlook the burs. I’ll get those out with a bit of editing. Ok, maybe a lot of editing. Burs are tricky.

If you Google “Procrastination as Strategy,” you’ll get a whole list of articles about how to beat procrastination, how to beat your own self into submission and get shit done. But, really, when it comes to creatives … isn’t a little procrastination good? I mean, I’m taming beasts over here. You can’t do that quickly.

I heard a TED Talk, once, about how procrastination can actually be a good thing. I’ll give you the link to that. In a minute. I’ve got some other stuff to do first.

Aaaaand, here we go: it’s buried in this TED Talks blog. Second entry. Pretty interesting stuff. If you’re looking to procrastinate, check out some of the other TED Talks listed here. They’re always good for food for thought. Who knows? Maybe they’ll help you tame some beasts.

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