The Art of Procrastination - Lynne Garner

Crocheted alligator stitch flower being blocked
At the beginning of this year I started a new part-time job working in the Adult Family Learning Services Department for my local council. Although a part-time position it has resulted in having a lot less time available to spent on my writing. So when, for the first time in three months I actually had an entire (yes two whole days) weekend free I planned to catch up with stuff that I'd neglected. However him-in-doors (who has always supported me - just soooooo lucky) suggested for those two days I became a 'proper' writer.  Having a work in progress (Coyote Tales Retold) which has been sitting on my desk and shouting "get me finished" I decided to do just that. So after breakfast on Saturday morning I:

  • Enjoyed a little crochet - taught myself how to make an alligator stitch flower  
  • Hoovered
  • Mopped the floors
  • Put on two loads of washing
  • Dusted
  • Rediscovered my desk that was hidden under a mountain of paper
  • Soaked in a hot bath full of bubbles

Mock-up of new front cover
I then did a little writing. Well I say a little what I actually did was complete one story I'd sketched out a month or so earlier and had started to write. Then feeling guilty that I'd procrastinated so much in the morning and most of the afternoon I then sketched out a second story then wrote the entire thing. Both are now sitting with the other stories that will become my latest book.

On the Sunday I got up and walked the dog (typically my first job every Sunday), sat in front of the computer and achieved... absolutely nothing. I had the story in my head but try as I might I just couldn't get it to form. Perhaps it was because I knew this was the last story I had to write for my new collection. However in hindsight I think it was because I didn't procrastinate first. I didn't give my writing muscle time to warm up to the idea that it was going to be used. I didn't allow my subconscious enough time to resolve the plot holes before I sat down. I didn't allow myself enough time to 'get in the zone.' So I've decided next time I have a day of being a 'proper' writer I'll start with a little procrastination first, it's much more productive.

Lynne Garner

My books:
Anansi The Trickster Spider - 8 traditional tales retold (volumme one): ebook format
Anansi the Trickster Spider - 8 traditional tales retold (volume two): ebook format
Anansi the Trickster Spider volumes one and two: paperback
Brer Rabbit - 8 traditional tales retold: ebook format


Susan Price said…
So procrastination is a good thing? I'll spend a lot more time doing it then. Thanks, Lynne... Off to work in the garden.
Mari Biella said…
I can sympathise with this, Lynne - I often sit down meaning to write and end up achieving absolutely nothing, or at least nothing writing-related. But then again, as you say, much of that time when you're apparently doing nothing can be productive; it gives your mind a chance to work on the story, perhaps, without any particular pressure.

Love the cover, by the way!
JO said…
Sometimes that works - and other times it just feels as if I've frittered time and I find it frustrating. I just wish there were a consistent pattern - but what my writing head needs seems to differ from day to day!
Wendy H. Jones said…
Love this approach to procrastinate. I'm off to proc... Er I mean sharpen up my writing muscles
Lydia Bennet said…
Ah displacement activity, the writer's friend! Lovely post and a productive weekend in so many ways!
glitter noir said…
A nice supplement to Lev's post of March 23 on the same subject. Well done.
Sandra Horn said…
I feel so much better now. Thank you!
Lee said…
Well, I'm passionate about ironing and dusting and scrubbing the floors. If only I could stop procrastinating with Chapter Ten...
Jan Needle said…
try putting procrastination off until tomorrow. you'll feel much better for it.

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