Saturday, January 22, 2011

Procrastination is a Fancy Word for Fear

I just printed out 97 pages of a manuscript I started in November. The NaNoWriMo is a fun project to tackle. If you like writing, give it a whirl sometime. On October 31st at about 9pm, I decided that the NaNo was my shiny object for the month. (Shiny object = distraction, for those who never have any problem focusing.) The insane goal is to write 1,667 words per day, every day, during November. I ended up around 41,000 words (not too shabby for a working, homeschooling mom), but haven't written a single word on the project since November 30th. Why?

I have one word: fear.

Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear that "there just isn't enough time for writing right now." Fear of conflict (in my everyday life, I despise conflict), which you simply must have for a good story. Fear that I'll just be interrupted. (Oh, that's not really a fear. It's a statement of fact. I can't even speak a full sentence without at least three interruptions.) So... I just put it off. There will be more time to write on Saturday. I'll get a couple hours in after the littles get put to bed. I'll get up early (go ahead... just laugh). There's always something in the way of writing.

No matter what excuse I throw out, though, the root of the problem is one I've long dealt with and have yet to master: I procrastinate because, while I have great intentions, I am afraid that everyone will find out that I am a complete flake and a fraud.

The carefree summer girl who has cute nail polish and snazzy flipflops is not afraid! Remember her? I've written about her before. Ms. Sharkbait, on the other hand, is afraid of all kinds of things. I'm all about the summer girl now. Time to tie the fear to the surfboard and send it out to sea. Time to get busy doing things instead of worrying about them.

All 97 pages are sitting right here next to me. Time to read them, let the story start percolating in my mind again. Time to let those characters finish telling me who they are so I can tell their story the right way. I procrastinated yesterday and said, "tomorrow...." Today is yesterday's tomorrow.

What are YOU going to do?

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