Writing: Procrastination & Accountability

When I wrote my first novel, I worked a full-time job, had two kids in school which meant football games, practices, etc.  I was taking a weekly creative writing class as well as dealing with health issues.  I had a lot going on.

I didn’t publish anything in 2015 – worked on a couple of stories but failed to finish anything.

Flash forward to 2016:  My kids have graduated so no more practices or games.  That, in and of itself, freed up all kinds of time.  I still work a full-time job but I’m usually home just a few minutes after five.  Logically, I should have been whipping out the words only that wasn’t happening.  In fact, short of my blog posts, I wasn’t making any significant headway with my writing – particularly with my current WIP.

procrastination

image from Microsoft Word Clipart

So what was the problem?

It wasn’t writers block or my super busy life. We have an on-going home remodeling project but that doesn’t take anymore time than picking my kids up from practices and attending football games.

My problem came down to accountability.

Back when I was writing my first book, my creative writing class sort of morphed into a critique group – same instructor – only we started bringing in what we were working on.  We shared excerpts of our work, offered and received honest critiques and we made progress.

no excuses

image from Microsoft Word Clipart

The excuses.

Over the past year or so, I let other things get in the way of my writing. It started with a “just this one time” and became an “I’ll write later” kind of situation. It’s amazing how easy it was to justify my lack of progress.  I mean seriously, The Big Bang Theory couldn’t be missed and trolling Facebook – that was okay because I was just too tired to even think about connecting a subject to a predicate.

Only the excuses wore thin and I was left facing the truth. My book wasn’t going to write itself and the literary fairies weren’t knocking at my door.

So a couple of weeks ago, at our last book signing, we decided to give the critique group another try and seeing as how I couldn’t go empty handed, I took advantage of those spare moments. My characters, who had all but given up on me ever taking the time to listen, roused from their slumber and excitedly shared their stories.

I listened and I wrote and I made some real headway with my story.

And it’s been wonderful.

-Deb

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18 comments

  1. You certainly did have your hands full when the kid were still at home…that i can connect with. Sometimes it is difficult juggling so many things but i am glad you have renewed your journey into writing a fabulous story waiting to be read by some of us…Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Having kids at home presents some real challenges especially when parenting and writing are competing for the same time. Obviously, the kids have to come first. But working on my novel made me a better mother in some ways – I think I am happier/more fulfilled person when I can tell on my stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate on so many levels!
    Hubby, kids, homework, swim/basketball/track practice/games/meets, housework, Facebook, Pinterest (my latest obsession), etc.
    I find myself waiting for the “perfect” time to write; no such thing!
    I wish you all the best with completing your novel 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Just reading your list gave me hives! 😉 And Pinterest – OMG- one pin turns into an hour! Seriously, thanks for not only reading my post but for taking the time to send some encouragement. Hope you have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have none of those things to deter me, but believe me, I have found ways to avoid writing.. The worst distraction is when I chew on an event or problem, not wanting to let go of it-and since I’m in such a snit, I tell myself I can’t concentrate on the story at hand. HORSE FEATHERS! Being honest with myself and my excuses(realizing that is what they are) has done a lot to make me move forward.And then there’s this NO BOOK=NO MONEY. The prospect of no gas in the car is the best motivator. .

    Liked by 1 person

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