Is There Value in Procrastination?

Susan-Mermaid-avatar  Perhaps the problem of procrastination gives you shivers. Me, too – and I’m a world-class wait-till-later writer! I’m taking a moment here, though, to ponder this question – what is the value of procrastination, if any?

Is this *your* life?

How many of us live like this?

Some of you may know that I’ve set myself an informal deadline to finish a polish of 100 pages for submission by June 1. You should also know that I’m a) dealing with additional challenges and duties as the school year draws to a close, b) attended a graduation tonight (required for my job) which took away the three or four hours I’d intended to spend writing c) have a big wedding anniversary on Sunday (thank you! how kind), and 4) have a blog post due on Thursday, May 28.

scream

Oh, my goodness!

Which explains part of why I’m writing the first (and probably the only) draft at 10:30 in the evening on May 27.

Ugh. This might explain why writers so often don’t finish a work.  You see, it’s fun to think about writing, and to put some words down, and to say you’re writing a story. It’s not fun to re-read your draft, and realize you’ve got various strengths in it, and characters who are changing names/jobs/destinies as your ideas evolve.

Poor Bernard! He’s been Barney, and now he’s called Bernie a lot. And my hero, Anthony, has a last name I can’t remember. And last night I wrote a note to myself when I broke off for the night:

SEXY HOT TUB AND SORRY SWIMSUIT

DINNER – REVEAL TRUE DESTINY

REFLECT ON PROGRESS SO FAR

thank you, Carlene, for loaning this one...

Carlene’s exquisite landscape makes me want to write something wonderful.

That, my friends, is three different scenes I want to park in this draft before I’m done. I’m on page 56.

What are the chances?

A friend has just made the argument for controlled rest. In this, we allow our brains and creative spirits time to recharge. Hey, I’m up for that! Another book, another glass of wine – it’s all good.

I’m also thinking about this, because I’m a high school librarian. And I saw, this afternoon, a crowd of freshmen who’d ignored a Classics assignment until today. It’s due tomorrow. The library needed to close so this librarian could get into her academic gown. So, let’s also talk about what drive us to procrastinate, when we know we should be doing our work.

Yes.

Yes.

 

So here are the topics we are discussing today:

– Will Susan make her deadline?

– Are you a procrastinator, and do you think it makes your work better or worse?

– Did you spot the error Susan made in the first paragraph, which she decided was kind of cute and decided to leave as her own personal Easter egg for this entry?

susan