Attack of the Procrastinator

One of my worst fears is that my procrastination will prevent my progress as a writer. It can be distressing for a writer to have a deadline looming over his/her head, but it is an occupational hazard. For most of my life, I have used deadlines and due dates as a way to push myself to write better. Procrastination is one of the worst detriments because it convinces you that you have the time and energy to get the job done later rather than sooner.

My confidence somehow enhances the more I wait to get my paper written. It defies logic that waiting until last minute will produce a good quality anything. As illogical as it seems, I follow it foolishly. This is my second critical paper for the practicum semester, and what appeared like an easy paper turned out to take a lot more time. I readΒ Blackbird House Β in plenty of time to complete the paper.

However, I am four days from the deadline, and only 2 pages into my critical essay. Am I worried? No way! Should I be? Probably. At this point in my academic/writing career, I should know better then to waste my time not finishing the paper. At the same time, I know I’m not necessarily wasting my time not doing my paper. Since I finished the book, I knew what I would write for the essay. I just haven’t been able to execute the whole thing. So, I’ve been spanning the work a little each day: brainstorm, outline, and actual then writing. Two pages down and around 3-5 pages more to go.

If I keep up a pace of 1-2 pages a day, I will finish it with time to spare. Is it procrastination to span out the work day-by-day? To me, it’s an unconventional way to get my paper done with a busy schedule. Maybe without Facebook and the allure of watching Man vs. Wild on Netflix, I’d be able to concentrate a little more. Hopefully, the procrastination will kick my adrenaline in gear to get my work done in time.

How does your procrastination attack you while writing? Does Facebook creep up every ten minutes? Do you search for activities to avoid doing your work? Share the ways you struggle with procrastination!

Happy writing/reading!

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14 Comments

Filed under Idea of the Day

14 responses to “Attack of the Procrastinator

  1. ahhhh….my arch nemesis is Pinterest! However, I am an 11th hour person – all of my assignments have been completed with less than 4 days before the deadline. I guess when the pressure is there, it inspires me??…. who knows how this brain works! Looking back, even in high school, I was always like this. I’ll never forget an assignment we had in English when I was 15. I had like 6 weeks to complete it. We had to read a book and then write a poem/sonnet about it. I did it on the day before it was due and I got an A+! This has always worked for me; even still, I get that little nagging in my head until it’s done. πŸ™‚

    • That’s exactly how I am. When I spend weeks working on a project, it somehow turns out crappy. However, if I work on up until it’s due, it turns out so much better. The adrenaline rush of handing in an assignment late…kinky for writers and overachievers. πŸ˜›

  2. I find the older I get, the more daring I get with leaving things until the last minute. So I’m always procrastinating as much as possible. “Oh, I haven’t baked in 2 years, but I think with this enormous overwhelming deadline looming tomorrow, I might just go and bake 17 cakes.” I also drink alarming amounts of coffee when procrastinating, because I just go back and make another cup every hour or so. πŸ˜›
    But I think for a lot of us, we probably need that pressure to actually get the work done when the time finally comes. And in a weird way, maybe it’s a good thing?

    • I think it compels us to find the story. For example, on a normal day we write, but we don’t hunger for the story to find us and demand we write it down. With a deadline, we are racing to find that story and demand it be told to us, so that we can reach the ultimate prize of completely our task. It’s almost like a quest. If there wasn’t a hot, virgin princess to save…what would be the point of going after the deadly dragon?

  3. I find that I don’t usually procrastinate too terribly when it comes to writing, but I do on just about EVERYTHING else. Catboxes need scooping? I’ll do it tomorrow… tomorrow… tomorrow… tom – oh shit, is he pissing on the floor?!
    Yeah, I can be pretty awful with that kind of stuff. When it gets bad, I start leaving myself sticky notes all over the house until I just do whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing.

    • Haha, oh the attention span of the young. We want to focus on the important things, but our brains are too busy dreaming to pay attention. πŸ˜› Hopefully this paper will be better since I’ve spread my work out over a few days. πŸ˜› Good luck with the kitty poo.

  4. I can certainly relate to your dilemma. I am known for being a procrastinator, too. If I can put some distasteful task off until later, I will. My son has the same problem which hasn’t been helping him with his college courses. I try to tell him to space things out so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming at the last minute, but that’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black! Good luck with your studies & I hope you manage to get everything done on time.

    Speaking of time, I hope you have time for this. If not, I understand. I would like to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award, or you can do the Lucky Seven Meme, if you prefer. If you’re up for either challenge, please drop by and find out what it’s all about. Have a great day! πŸ™‚

    • I am so honored! I’ve received the Versatile Blogger award twice this week. I will have to write an extra special post! I finished my paper with hours to spare. Spreading the work out day by day definitely made the paper less intimidating. It is good advice to follow πŸ˜›

  5. I read somewhere that procrastination is the sign of a perfectionist- I wonder if you fall into this cateogry? hahah πŸ™‚ Thank you for peeking at my blog, it is always appreciated, as are all comments and blog follows! πŸ™‚

    • I wish that sign was true, but I think all writers are perfectionist. Maybe we all use perfectionism to fuel us. The path that gets us there is just vastly different. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading more!

  6. I admit to being a bit of a procrastinator myself, though I think it has more to do with the formation of my work habits.

    When I was in college, I used to write for the main paper and other publications that were willing to accept my stuff, and in most cases the deadlines for these were measured in hours, as opposed to the weeks the instructors would give us for larger papers that required more work but had a much smaller audience. I think it was in going to a screening and then having to provide a few hundred words about the film to get something to the typesetter’s hands within minutes of leaving the theater that gave me a taste for the joys of deadline desperation; there’s something about having to free associate OR ELSE! that really tests your abilities…

    Likewise, when I no longer had a regular journo-gig, it was a tough adjustment, so I had to impose deadlines on myself for my projects to recreate that environment. It’s not quite the same as it used to be, but you do what you can with what you have…

    • Your insight is undeniable! The thrill of a deadline allows the pressure to bring out the potential of a writer (in some cases). Just like stressful situations (skydiving for the first time/being stranded) bring out the survivor in some people, it is not always effective. Some times the pressure of a deadline can cripple the creative juices, but some people are lucky to have it enhanced. πŸ™‚ Glad you go through your deadlines with the energy to make them for yourself.

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