Putting It Off.

Source: Facebook, Library Displays

So I’m really bad about procrastinating. Or, depending on how you look at it, really good at procrastinating, if you ever get around to looking at it. And I’m pretty sure the last two years have made my tendency to procrastinate even worse. Work goes along just fine–maybe because there’s always some new problem coming in, but sometimes when I sit down to write…well, in the process of writing this paragraph I’ve washed dishes, taken dogs out, and folded a load of laundry.

Maybe I shouldn’t even be writing about this. Once in a creative writing class I got an assignment to describe a place. It could be any place, but sometimes the brain can be the most annoyingly contrary organ. Any other time I doubt I’d have trouble thinking up a place and describing it, maybe even making it interesting, but, given the assignment, I flailed. And feared I’d fail. Finally I went to the library and shut myself in one of the study rooms and went through every idea I could think of. That took all of two seconds. I sat down and tried just writing, letting the words flow, getting everything down, and two hours later…

Source: Make A Gif

I ended up describing the study room but also all the trouble I was having coming up with something to write and when I got the paper back the teacher had written on it, “Writing about writing is the most boring thing imaginable and I couldn’t even finish this.” Yeah, I understand–I could barely finish it myself, although I’m not sure reading about it was half as bad as living it. And what made it even worse is that just a few days before I’d been saying that having a deadline was a great way to inspire creativity, at least for me. Other assignments I’d start writing as soon as I got them–if not on paper then in my head. Sometimes I’d have the first several paragraphs and a conclusion mentally composed by the time I left the building. I’d just made the mistake of saying that out loud and my brain snickered and said, “Yeah, that’s what you think.”

On the bright side while I was putting off this I went and checked and it turns out there’s Fight Procrastination Day which is September 6th each year, so I’m well ahead of schedule to be ready for that, although there’s also National Procrastination Week which is the first two weeks of March, which is making me kind of panic because that’s coming up soon, although it also says “or when it’s convenient”. So I’ll celebrate that when I get around to it.

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8 Comments

  1. markbialczak

    Oh, no, once the can’t-start-yet is inside your head, TROUBLE, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Lucky for me I sometimes get so caught up in doing things I end up putting off procrastinating.

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    You know what they say: Never put off today what you can put off tomorrow. Also, I love that book display photo!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I love that book display too just because whoever did it put some real thought into it. I’m one of those people, and I bet you are too, who can’t pass a book display without stopping to look, but that one was for people who usually don’t look. And I bet it got a lot of second looks.

      Reply
  3. msgracefulnot

    I make the mistake of attempting to be proactive all the time. This leads others to think I have all the free time in the world because everything “looks” put together

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Now you’ve really got me scratching my head. How in the heck do people think you have all the free time in the world with everything put together, or looking like it anyway? Sorry, that’s not a fair question–I should be asking those people. You deserve a break.

      Reply
  4. ANN J KOPLOW

    I procrastinate reading your blog, Chris, and I don’t know why, because I always enjoy it so. But I don’t want to put off telling you how put off I am by this teacher, too. I would never tell one of my students (I used to teach writing) that whatever they did was “the most boring thing imaginable.” I’m thinking she had a very limited imagination.

    Since I’m procrastinating finishing my taxes, I’m going to read your next post now.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s okay, Ann, because, for reasons I can’t explain, I procrastinate when it comes to replying to comments, even though I read most of them as soon as they appear and I enjoy them all so much. And it does seem odd to me that the teacher would say that. In fact she had quite an imagination and when I was one of her students she published her first novel, When Warhol Was Still Alive, and, having just looked it up, I’m not surprised to find she’s written several others as well.

      Reply

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