This morning, I browsed some of my old posts, searching for inspiration for today’s Monday Meanderings. I was a bit disheartened to discover this entry, originally posted on May 18, 2010–over three years ago. The discouragement comes from the fact that some of these goals are still pending:
This is a theme I have to come back to from time-to-time: the things that keep me from writing. In almost every area of my life I am not a procrastinator. When I see something that needs to be done, I am driven until I’ve completed it. I revel in the sense of accomplishment that comes with checking a task off of my to-do list, whether figuratively or in actuality. But when it comes to writing, I sometimes put it off.
Today is May 18th. My intent had been to begin the rewrite of my novel (The Sin of His Father) on the 15th. I haven’t even taken the hard copy out of the file I lugged home from Palm Desert.
Another goal was to compile a book of poetry to submit or self-publish. That hasn’t happened either and, if I remember correctly, my target date was for the end of 2008. The redeeming factor in this one is that I have more poems to choose from and better quality writing.
Why is it easier to meet concrete goals such as cleaning out the closet or weeding the garden when the more satisfying, creative accomplishments often elude me? Are there legitimate reasons to put off writing?
Maybe if we take a look at the reasons we procrastinate and the devices we employ to legitimize not-writing, we’ll get a clue as to what needs to be done to move forward…or to be a bit more lenient with ourselves.
Oh, it’s true. I’ve make progress on all of these goals. I’ve completed numerous edits and rewrites of The Sin of His Father and submitted it to a dozen agents and a contest. Before I make the next move, I’m waiting for results of the contest. In the interim, I completed a total rewrite on my first novel and it was published in 2011 by Lucky Bat Books. I’ve compiled a few different volumes of poetry and am working on self-publishing one of those. This week I prepared a Kindle Singles article on helping persons with early stage dementia and should have it up in the next day or two. I’ve written lots of poetry, participated as a team member on dVerse, Into the Bardo and a few other blogs. Then there’s the dreaded marketing of Winter is Past…my nemesis. And, of course, there’s life and it’s way of presenting the unexpected and demanding attention to the routine, not to mention relationships to nurture.
Could it be that the real enemy isn’t procrastination, but perfectionism? What about you?