I used to put things off all the time. Not just the things I didn’t want to do, like cleaning, de-cluttering, exercising, etc., but even things I wanted. Household projects that I researched and envisioned brightening up my home were tossed in a folder to collect dust.
Laundry would sit until I was forced to wear things in the back of my closet that made me uncomfortable most of the day. Cleaning projects would pile until they seemed overwhelming.
And then one day a writer friend suggested that I participate in NaNoWriMo with the local writing group. NaNoWriMo for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is a month long writing event held in November each year for people to write an entire novel in a single month. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. I’d been writing stories and beginnings of books for years, but the idea of writing an entire book in 30 days seemed ridiculous. And then I tried it.
First, I love that when you log in each day it told me how many words I’d need to write that day to stay on track. There were groups to provide support, a ready cheering section and lots of motivation on a daily basis. By the end of the month I had a very rough fist draft of over 50,000 words. Over the next six months that rough draft was cleaned up, plot holes filled in and extra baggage cut. Parts were thrown to critique groups nervously for feedback. It was edited, revised, torn apart and put back together… again and again. Then when I thought it was done, edited one more time before going before 5 very tough, no-nonsense beta readers. Afterwards, another 3 weeks of revisions and fine tuning and… you guessed it. Another round of editing.
It was a lot of work and I’m very proud of the end result. I still have a ton of work left to do to get it published, marketed and out there for readers to enjoy, but I’m on my way. My old friend Procrastination sits and waits patiently for me. I can see him lurking by my laptop, playing with the remote on the TV, browsing my DVD collection and whispering to me about the latest video game I could be playing if I put off that pesky blog for a day. What difference could a day make, really?
I just smile and know that one day I’ll once again be sitting on the couch laughing about this crazy period where I was on the go 24/7. I’ll snicker about how busy and obsessed I was over every little thing. But that day is not today. I’ll just put it off until tomorrow.