Constructive Procrastination


Thought I'd throw in another contest picture. Here I am at Callicott Park, also affectionately known as "the duck pond." I'm not working, as you can tell.
Thought I’d throw in another contest picture. Here I am at Callicott Park, also affectionately known as “the duck pond.” I’m not working, as you can tell.

I just got done doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Before that, I updated some forms on the school’s website. Why am I telling you this?

Because as worthy as those two projects are, and as much as they needed to be done, they aren’t my priority for this morning. Yes, it’s Spring Break, but school will be back in session Monday, and I am woefully behind on preparing for classes. So I need to be working on that prep.

Trouble is, my body is willing but my spirit is weak. In other words, my brain’s just not there.

I learned a long time ago to write very fast. I can crank out up to 10,000 words in a day. The only thing that holds me up is knowing what to say. And knowing what to say is directly related to how many others things are rattling around in the attic at that time. If the attic is relatively empty and swept out, it’s a lot easier to get things done. But if there are bats in the belfry, well, I don’t write too well.

One thing that does help me are deadlines (since that’s plural, I guess that’s more than one thing). Years working on a magazine and newspaper have taught me to crank it out if necessary and I have learned that even if you don’t think there are ideas up there, you can usually come up with something that looks something like an idea.

And then there’s the advantage of the subconscious. It’s ok to watch TV or go see a movie when you should be writing, IF you are in the right frame of mind when you do so, and you’re not being productive in writing anyway. Cutting yourself some slack is sometimes just what the doctor ordered (not to mix metaphors or anything). Give yourself permission to play as long as you understand that you still have to get back to your project.

So that’s what I am doing. I feel guilty when I am not doing anything constructive, but sometimes the constructive things I find to do aren’t where I should be spending some time.

Like writing this blog. Sigh. Back to the textbooks….

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