Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Procrastinating Gets Me Nowhere

I enter my state authors organization contest every year. And every year entries can be sent in between mid-April to mid-June. So, here we are at almost the mid-June point. And have I sent in my entries? If you read the title of today's post, you know the answer to the question.

Procrastinating creates stress. It's as simple as that. My contest entries must be postmarked no later than June 15th. I do have several ready to be put in the envelope and mailed, but I still have two to revise and put into the required submission form. But I keep putting it off.

I could say I've been too busy to work on those two stories. And that's partially true. But the real reason is that I'm not looking forward to whipping those two stories into contest-ready shape because they have both given me grief in the early writing, and I know that revising them will be no picnic. It's so easy to tell myself that I'll do it tomorrow. Definitely a Scarlett O'Hara approach. (For those too young to know Scarlett as well as I do--she was the heroine in Gone With The Wind who often said, "I'll think about that tomorrow.")

With not quite a full week to deadline, today's the day I'm going to work on the revisions. Procrastinating much longer means they will never see the inside of the entry envelope. Now that I've made this public statement, I'm committed!

I wonder if there is anyone who can say they've never procrastinated. I'm betting it's the rare person who has never done so. Some people do it habitually and some only occasionally. I've already mentioned the stress procrastination creates. In a writing project, it can also mean that you are limiting yourself to not enough time to do the project as well as you might if started earlier. A hurry-up job may turn out looking like it's been dashed off with not enough thought behind it. You also run the risk of not making the deadline and missing out on a good opportunity to win a contest or have work accepted by an editor.

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to procrastination. It gets us nowhere. It's a hard habit to break, but it can be done with some determination. I'm going to work on it. How about you?


  1. There is a saying that a wise old Italian woman taught me. I must say it has gotten me through SOME times I've wanted to procrastinate. It goes like this:

    When a thing is once begun
    Never leave it til its done
    Be the labor great or small
    Do it well or not at all

    OK...on to organize my clothes closet!

  2. That's a great little poem, Lisa. I could add one small change, which is something my mother taught me. Do it well (right) or do it all over again. :) And guess what? I did get my revisions work done yesterday. Pressure works every time!