Sunday, March 25, 2012

Am I Just Lazy? Maybe I'm Bored? Or Could It Be PROCRASTINATION?

I've had the most terrible time concentrating on my writing lately. At least that's the way it seems.

Not sure if I'm purposely distracting myself, allowing myself to be distracted by things going on around me, or simply not able to maintain my concentration. And it's not that I'm bored because I don't have anything to do. I have plenty to do. In fact, I'm behind schedule with my to do list. Could it possibly be that I'm just procrastinating.

I currently have four manuscripts in various stages of completion between page one and page last, three projects where I'm working on the storyline and synopsis and haven't actually started writing yet, and two basically completed manuscripts that are in the let them sit for a little while then go through them one last time stage before submitting them to a publisher. And I need to come up with a blog for tomorrow morning (Sunday, March 25).

Being a writer requires self-discipline. Being self-employed and working from home also requires that same discipline. Being a full time writer (no day job) who works from home requires twice the discipline. When the words aren't flowing from the brain directly to the screen, it's very easy to be distracted by anything and everything. So easy to procrastinate. After all, there's always later.

(Oh, look…the mailman is across the street. He'll be at my house in another five minutes. Maybe I should go to the front door and wait. I wouldn't want to have my electric bill sitting in my mailbox any longer than absolutely necessary.)

I was so desperate for something else to do this morning (other than any of the items on my to do list) that I actually started to declutter my office. I went through a huge stack of stuff on my desk, almost all of it printed emails, news stories from online, research information from various websites. That huge stack ended up in two stacks. One was the throw it away because it's no longer relevant for various reasons and the other one was the file it away where it belongs. So, I tossed the first stack and the second stack went into the appropriate hard copy file folders. Unfortunately, that was only one huge stack of stuff out of many. It was the newest stack, so my guess is that all the others will be mostly throw it away things when I finally get around to doing something with it.

(Just finished unloading the dishwasher and putting the clean dishes away, something that obviously needed to be done RIGHT NOW rather than a couple of hours later. Oh, yeah…while I was in the kitchen I got out my Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker and made a pitcher of iced tea. That's not procrastinating, is it?)

Now, where was I. Oh, yes…my blog. I need to pick a topic for my blog and then get it written. I print out interesting articles and news stories when I come across them online and set them aside as possible topics for a blog. Hmmm…it seems to me that I just went through a huge stack of paper that included some printouts of articles and news stories. Maybe I should go and take another look at the ones I kept.

Or not.

(It's about dinner time and I'm getting hungry. Good thing I took those dishes out of the dishwasher. Now I can use them.)

Maybe I'm just bored in general and need a break like being able to get out of town, take a trip somewhere. Yeah…that's it! I can transfer all my work in progress files to my laptop and take it with me. I'll be able to get lots of work done while I'm gone because there won't be anything around to distract me like there is in my own house. Now where did I put that U.S. Atlas?

Oh, wait a minute. I need to do laundry before I can go out of town. And I have a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, and something else on my schedule for Wednesday night. I guess I don't need that Atlas after all.

So…I might as well get back to work. (Hmmm…I wonder what I should fix for dinner.)


Natalie Hancock said...

I feel exactly the same. I really want to write, want to more than anything because lately everything else just seems to bore me. Yet when I open my work to actually write, everything and anything around me distracts me, and I'll find myself staring out of the window, looking at the birds chase each other. Or counting the number of books I have on my shelf. Or how many sounds I can hear.
It can't be because I'm bored. Or I have Writers Block because the ideas are there, I just need to write them down.
Even now, I'm being distracted by someone cutting their grass, or my chinchilla sleeping.
Maybe a change of scene would helo? Go into a different room? Sit on the floor instead of a chair? Or a chair instead of the floor? Put on some rock/hardcore music on loud? (That normally gets me into the mood for writing)

It's weird how the little things can distract you from what you really want to be doing.

Susan Macatee said...

Samantha, I'm going through the much the same thing right now, but it's because several projects I've been working on simultaneously have all come to completion. I just finished proofreading a galley, have a new project sitting on an editor's desk I'm waiting to hear back on, and a short story I put aside to cool for at least a week before polishing and sending that off. So, I have a clean slate and have to decide what to work on next. So, I am procrastinating. I just have to pick one idea and start plotting, but after working through revisions and edits most of the last six months, it's hard to get back in plotting mode again. I think I'll start with something short to hopefully get the ball rolling.

Helen Hardt said...

I totally get it! Unfortunately, procrastination is my middle name.

Samantha Gentry said...

Natalie: It never ceases to amaze me how easily I can sometimes be distracted by the little tiny things. You mentioned the neighbor mowing his grass. Mine is, too, and I'm so tempted to look out the window to see if he's doing it himself or has someone do it for him. :)

Thanks for your comments.

Samantha Gentry said...

Helen: I don't want to say that procrastination is my middle name (it's not that I can't, it's that I don't want to). But that's probably better than it being my first name. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

LOL, Samantha! This is sooooooo ME! Have you been spying on me?? Either that, or we're twins!

THANKS for the great smile today!

hugs, Kari Thomas,

Samantha Gentry said...

Kari: Thanks for your comments. I think it's more than just us being twins...I think we have a lot more siblings out there with tis little idiosyncrasy! LOL

Calisa Rhose said...

Wait a sec! Did I just write this post? Maybe I ghost wrote it so sneakily I don't even know I wrote it. No, really. I must have because THIS IS MY LIFE! And in the meantime-- nothing gets written, does it? I feel ya girl. Good luck to us all. I think God is spring cleaning my brain. Yeah, haven't used that excuse before. I like it! I'll go with that!

Samantha Gentry said...

Calisa: Hmmm...Perhaps you did ghost write this without either one of us realizing it! So, thank you and I'm open to suggestions for next week's blog. LOL

Calisa Rhose said...

I'll get right on that, Samantha! lol ;)

June Bourgo said...

Glad to know others have the same problem as me. I need to sit and write. The ideas are there but I work full time and when I sit down at night I don't know where to start. Last time this happened I forced myself to sit and write a difficult chapter thinking put it down any old way and then edit it. It turned out better than I thought it would and it got me started again. I am procrastinating by writing to you instead of on my sequel LOL.

Samantha Gentry said...

June: We're even because I'm answering you rather than working on my current manuscript. :)

Thanks for your comment. Now get back to work!!