Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Am My Own Worst Enemy - Now A Proven Fact

I posted this a few months ago on another blog, but it is soooo apt right now it's not even funny. Actually, scratch that, given the original ending of this post, it's completely hilarious :-D Be sure to read that ending and the update, and try not to laugh too hard at me LOL

  procrastinator kittyI knew when I got published that I'd be busy. I knew I'd have contracts and edits and deadlines - but I wasn't worried. I actually work better under a deadline. I was sort of looking forward to all the hustle and bustle.

However, I didn't take into account my own proclivity for procrastination.

See, I tend to look at my schedule and think, "Ooo, I have 2 months to write this book. Piece of cake. I'll get started on it later."

But here is what I forget. Writing that one book isn't the only thing I'm going to have to do in that two month time frame. I will have edits coming in on other books, promo to do for all my books (and I cannot stress enough how much TIME this stuff takes), blog posts to write, crits for friends to do, proposals for future projects to do...not to mention the million and one family and home issues that need Mommy's attention.

And I'm one of the extremely lucky ones that is able to do this full time. I love that I get to write. I feel so incredibly lucky that I get paid to do what I love. But I will say that once those contracts are signed, a lot of the wiggle room goes out the door. It doesn't really matter if I'm too tired or don't feel like writing on any particular day. If there is a deadline looming, I HAVE to get it done. Like it or not.

It's become a job. It's a job I love and I wouldn't change anything for the world. But I don't really get to do the "eh, I just don't feel like it" anymore - not without consequences anyway ;-) (Those consequences usually involve extreme stress and lack of sleep due to full-on cram sessions as I try to get things done - cram sessions that wouldn't be necessary if I'd learn to not procrastinate ...I'm working on it) :-D *ahem...see updated ending*


Now, it's not ALWAYS my fault. Sometimes I do really well sticking to my schedule and things come along that prevent me from working. Life happens. You gotta learn to roll with it. I'm learning to not over-commit, to say no every now and then, to limit some of the "non-writing" extras I used to do. It helps.

But I do have to admit that I am sort of easily distracted :-D I do okay most days. But my life would be a lot less stressful if I'd just get out of my own way and get to work ;-)

This recent FB conversation between my hubs and I pretty much sums up my usual work routine:

 Hubs: Want to go to the store with me or do you just want me to pick up what we need?
 Me: You better go. I need to get some wordage done.
 Hubs: Yeah that's what you always say. You're such a procrastinator.
 Me: Whatever. I'm doing fine this time. I'm almost done. I only need 2000 words a day and I'll still be done with plenty of time to edit before I have to turn it in. I can do that easy.
Hubs: Uh huh - that's what you say now. And next week it'll be "I only have to do 2500 words a day" and the week after that it will be "I only have to do 3000 a day" and the week after THAT it'll be "Crap! I have to do 5000 a day!!!"
 Me: O_o *blushes 'cause I know he's right* :P





SPECIAL NOTE:
(This was the original ending to this post)
I'm starting a new book next week. I have two and a half months to get it done. I only need to do about 1500 words a day and I will be done early with several weeks to edit before it is due. Totally doable, piece of cake. THIS time I will not procrastinate ;-D

Update on that Ending:
Yeah, I procrastinated. *blush* but I'm totally chalking that up to extreme burnout :)

THEN, all the time I had sort of evaporated due to major edits being needed on another book and releasing book 2 of the Blood Blade Sisters series. Luckily, my current book got a few extensions. However, it is now due Monday. And really, my poor editor would love it before then if I can perform a miracle. See, I've changed some major plot points - twice - the most recent changes being made last night, and these changes resulted in major cuttage and necessary new chapters.

After all is said and done, I now need to write about 30k more to replace/update/and/or fix what I had. By Monday.....What's sad is I've done this before so I know I can pull it off. It's not going to be pretty though :-D I'd suggest staying upwind of me (and my house) until next week :-D

I solemnly vow to never procrastinate again :-) I will take into account the fact that my current WIPs are not the only things that will be going on in my life (writing and real) and that no matter how much time I think I have, I really have a lot less. I will do better with my time management and will try to stop making major changes days before my manuscripts are due.

In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be over in the corner in the fetal position crying into my laptop ;-)

6 comments:

  1. I was just reading an interview with Christopher Moore on Catherine Ryan Hyde's blog, and he has this to say about the job of writing:
    "Well, the work is still as hard and requires as much time and discipline as it ever has, yet people are under the impression that you can go play any time you want. I can’t. I have to be at my desk, doing this dumb thing I do, every damn day. And “just this one time” for dinner or a show or a trip, isn’t just this once, because a lot of people are asking. That’s not really that bad. I mean, if you don’t treat it like a job, you never make it, but it’s still hard to get other people to treat it like a job. Every few years I do a couple of hours of something that would be considered real work, like shovel dirt or move furniture or something, and I suddenly become very grateful that the “worst” thing about my job is not being able to go out to lunch with friends all the time."

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  2. Yep, so so true. Working from home, especially as a writer, can be tough because I don't think people really consider it "work". It's always, "oh, you have plenty of time to do x,y,z" and I really don't. I get in that mentality too sometimes - I forget how much time it really takes to write a few thousand words a day. If I'm really on a roll, I can pound out 2000 words an hour, but I always think I can do that every time I sit down and sometimes the words just don't come that easy :)

    I really want to get a nice big shed that I can turn into a little writing hut in my backyard. That way, I can leave the house for actual work hours, I can be somewhere people can't readily get to me, and I will have to make sure there is no wifi in there LOL It's a little harder to stick to my self-made work hours when I'm sitting in my kitchen looking around at all the stuff that needs to be done in my house lol

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  3. This book has also been much, much more difficult because I've been trying to write it with my kids home full time :) I've gotten spoiled with them both in school. Heck, I wrote my first book with them both in diapers, working from home doing data entry, and being in grad school full time. Of course, I didn't sleep at all back then ;-)

    But this summer, trying to release one book while editing another and writing a third with my little darlings bored out of their minds and crawling all over me has been an interesting challenge lol

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  4. For me, social media has been a big distraction (obviously, since I'm on here!) to my writing. It's so easy to rationalize just ONE more round of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc because after all, it's kind of like writing, and certainly relates to writing and building a network and platform. All necessary things, right?

    And we actually do have a lovely 10x12 shed with windows and everything, and I was supposed to get a portion of it for an art studio. That portion currently houses some stored furniture and a table saw.

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  5. Good luck with your book! I definitely know the struggles of being a procrastinator because I am super guilty of it. It's one of those time management things I really ought to get a hang of. :P

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  6. Your life just stressed me out. May calm eminate from your surroundings.

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