November 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm #3197RaineParticipant
Yeah, ‘procrastination’ i think is simply needing a break from the direct *act* of writing to allow the mental part of it to catch up. It isn’t a flaw, or a failure. Given the number of successful, well established authors I see on Twitter telling themselves off for procrastinating, and yet still going on to publish successful books, I think we can all go easy on ourselves when we need some tv watching, freecell playing, twitter scrolling etc.
That said, I am on here, and I shouldn’t be…November 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm #3198Alan RainParticipant
Wiki: Procrastination is defined as the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished.
It’s not the same as lack of preparedness, or planning, or simply taking time out to think, or refresh – it’s creative avoidance. It’s deciding other tasks are more important than the thing you claim to enjoy. And if you do that, you are uncommitted.November 23, 2018 at 6:26 pm #3199DaedalusParticipant
You ever meet anyone with any kind of attention deficit disorder Alan?November 23, 2018 at 7:00 pm #3200RaineParticipant
Or any kind of mental illness really. It’s always tenuous to believe individual behaviour can be reduced to a binary either/or thing. Especially other people’s behaviour. I guess the dictionary definition gives us an end result of a behaviour, but it tells us nothing about anything leading up to that end.November 23, 2018 at 7:15 pm #3201DaedalusParticipant
I think what writers commonly refer to as procrastination is not quite the same as that definition, anyway. Sometimes forcing yourself to write can be the worst thing for your writing, and doing something else can be what you need to get your head into the right place.November 23, 2018 at 7:40 pm #3202
To be clear, the wiki definition, or the Oxford Dictionary, or Chambers, or whatever, is only the definition that whoever wrote the definition decided on. It’s useful as clarification or as a pointer if you really don’t know how to use the word. That said, even if it is wholly and exclusively correct* then the understanding of commitment remains open and as it happens, I think that people procrastinate quite often over tasks to which they are committed. I don’t think that commitment implies the complete and unswerving focus on completion of or adherence to a task, or even necessarily the knowledge that one is committed to it.
*which it isn’tNovember 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm #3205Philippa EastParticipant
I so agree that it’s useful to drill down into the actual function of a particular behaviour (e.g. scrolling on Twitter, ironing socks etc.)
It MAY be avoidant procrastination (i.e. continuously putting off something we’re for some reason afraid to face). Or that same behaviour could be a much-needed and healthy break from the keyboard / page – a sort of healthy recharging breather.
Working out which it is, is so important. We have to commit to the task and push through the former; and we have to give ourselves guilt-free permission to indulge in the latter. Getting these the wrong way round though risks disaster! (I’ve been there. Ug.)
I really love Steve Pressfield’s writing on the concept of Resistance (which he identifies as a key cause of avoidant procrastinating – the kind @alanr is talking about). He wrote a lovely guide to it which you can find here: https://aimeeknight.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/the-war-of-art_fastpencil_pbo.pdf
One of his points is that the more we care about a task or project – the greater the degree to which this project is what we are meant to be doing in our lives – the more likely we are to hit Resistance. Dang.November 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm #3315
Well, that’s me done. I really thought I wouldn’t make it this time.November 30, 2018 at 5:59 pm #3318JulesParticipant
Well done, Ath 🙂
And well done other fellow NaNoersNovember 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm #3319
Well done indeed! And (seriously) I am in awe looking at your word count.
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