Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Controlling Your Time

NOT WASTING YOUR MOST CRUCIAL COMPONENT


The fact that there are thousands of places to go for helps on maximizing time tells me that I'm not the only person who is plagued with this problem. In desperation, I've gone to countless of those sources. I've bought books, looked it up on the internet, went to seminars, and attended classes at writer's conferences.

No matter where I went, the topics covered were pretty constant.

* set priorities,
* set and achieve goals,
* get over your internal barriers,
* effectively organize your daily actions,
* make smarter decisions faster,
* uncover better options,
* prevent burnout,

So... after reading/hearing/watching the same topics over and over--I have to face the ugly truth--my biggest obstacle to writing is...

Procrastination.

A basic definition of procrastination is putting off the things that you should be doing now.

So how do you know if you are affected by this terrible condition?

When you put off your most important tasks.. (in my case,writing).. until later and then later and later, while you are getting busy with many not so important activities, you might be a procrastinator.

The problem might be as simple as

* Waiting for the right mood
and
* Waiting for the right time

But sometimes publishers move dates forward for when they want your project. If you've been procrastinating and waiting for the mood to hit, you might have to do your entire rewrite in a week. That's happened to me twice.

Since I'm looking at procrastinating from a writer's point of view, I see other things that lead to procrastination. (Besides, computer games, that is.)

* Lack of clear direction in your story
* Underestimating the difficulty of the task.

Sometimes writing is just plain drudgery. The actions scenes are fun, but rewrites, or rough drafts, or line editing can be mind boggling hard. In my case its the rough draft. THE WRITING IS SO BAD. I wonder from the beginning to the end if I'm any good.

* Underestimating the time required
* Unclear standards (each genre requires something different)
* Too ambiguous plot

* Fear of failure or fear of success
* Perfectionism

For me, better planning is the answer. Though, over planning can be a way to procrastinate the actual writing. I know one guy who's been planning his book out for 3 years.

Developing a set routine is working for me. Not turning on the internet is the hardest habit for me to break. That is a work in progress.

3 comments:

Jaime Theler said...

Great post. And yes, procrastination is soooo seductive (as are those little games). I spent a whole hour writing today *before* turning on the internet. Wow. Amazing how well that worked. ;)

Oh, and spinning 15 miles today.

L.T. Elliot said...

That picture pretty much sums it up for me. =]

Hannah said...

Procrasinators Unite....tomorrow! :D

Oh, and I won't be at piano lessons today--speech and debate stuff.