Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Procrastination? Use Your Imagination!

Susan Johnston over at The Urban Muse ( is continuing a series of meme tags, in writing about procrastination/how to deal with it; and offered an open tag-yourself invitation. Never being one to turn down an invitation, here I go, with three completely unrelated tips.

1. FLY your way to work. Ever since my mom signed up for FlyLady (, I've known about the concept of "baby steps." Basically: go really slowly, but just go. If you have an assignment due, a story that has to be finished, RESIST going 80 mph. Just start with fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes! That's all. And then tomorrow you'll do another fifteen minutes. It will get done.

2. URGENT! URGENT! Okay... so you sort-of, kinda, maybe promised the editor the story would be done in like five hours. Maybe three hours. Don't freeze up! First of all, lower all perfectionistic expectations. It won't be perfect. It can be good. Then strap yourself to your chair, my man, and blast some music so that you can't hear the creepy little voices that say you won't finish. It's also helpful to lower word count, and set incremental goals (like 200 words in 15 minutes, etc.)

3. Think of a happy place... Are you procrastinating out of fear of failure? Imagine your mind was a bar (okay, a restaraunt.) Personify each of your fears/worries/stresses-- maybe your fear of rejection is a fat middle-aged woman with thirty moles, or your fear of being overworked is a balding, black-eyed executive. Once you've named and imagined all of the-stuff-that-keeps-you-from-writing, kick them ALL out of the bar. Restaraunt. Whatever. Your mind is serene, at peace, and full of good beer. Now you can work.

Continuing with this open-tag idea... tag yourself!

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