The Four Horsemen of Writing: Procrastination

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It’s tough being an author.  You don’t always find the time you would like to write your stories and most people see it as a hobby.  Ideas will turn on you too.  The amount of pitfalls can be daunting and your average person doesn’t notice them.  So, I decided to use the next couple of Tuesdays to open the floor to the ‘Four Horsemen of Writing’.  They don’t have horses though.

Keep in mind that this is the list I came up with for myself, so the lineup could be different for every author.  That works as a disclaimer, so let’s see the first one.

Procrastination

We do it to ourselves.  Whether it be out of fear or being horribly unfocused, we do other things instead of writing.  We may even do writing-like things without actually touching on the books or outlines.  Research can lead to this because an author may spend an evening jumping down every rabbit hole they find.  Before they know it, they have to get some sleep and came out of the evening with nothing to show for it.  Not even a memory of what they were originally looking up.

Life tends to cause this as well.  We have other tasks and chores, which we may gravitate towards even if we don’t like them.  It delays the writing, which we both love and get nervous about.  Not that we’re aware of it, but there could be a subconscious voice that isn’t reading for us to put our thoughts on paper.  After all, writing does involve putting some of our soul into our work, which leaves us vulnerable.  Procrastination can put off exposing one to that effect for just a little bit longer.  Again, we might not even realize we’re doing it.

So, let’s just open the floor because everyone tackles this differently.  I mean, my procrastination stems from anxiety and exhaustion.  Life just wears me down and I lack the urge to write at times even though I plan out the time.  Other people may have other triggers, so it’s best for everyone to give their opinion.

  1. Are you a major or minor procrastinator?
  2. What is something you do to prevent or minimize procrastination?
  3. Do you think you do it without realizing that you do it?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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25 Responses to The Four Horsemen of Writing: Procrastination

  1. L. Marie says:

    1. Well, I’m not sure about major or minor, but I have procrastinated, yes. 😊
    2. By focusing on smaller portions of the task, rather than the whole thing. Sometimes I procrastinate because I’m overwhelmed. I think about broad aspects of the task like writing a novel versus writing a scene—something much more manageable. Even writing story notes or worldbuilding can help if I struggle to put words on the page. Another helpful thing, at least for me, is to remind myself that what I write doesn’t have to be perfect or sound good. I don’t have to be Shakespeare coming out of the gate.
    3. I never procrastinate without conscious effort. I do it on purpose. If I’m writing something and I get overwhelmed or feel inadequate, I start looking at YouTube videos or even Netflix. So I’m fully aware that I am avoiding what I’m doing.

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  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Call over to Charles’ original blog post and share your procrastinator habits 😃

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  3. #2 is great advice. I’m terrible at breaking things down like that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to be a major procrastinator but decided to reform. I figured the problem was doing unimportant things first because they were easier. The problem became one of being busy but not productive. I decided to hit the writing first and then do the easy stuff last. I’m going to enjoy this series of the Four Horseman. Good one, Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a middle of the road procrastinator. It’s easy to put things aside for family, and feel no remorse. I’m fairly good at earmarking time, then sticking to it. There are days when the story makes me stop early. I need time to figure out how to get out of the holes I’ve created in the story. It’s usually better to come up with some creative solution than to back up and eliminate the holes altogether. There are other times when I get distracted. Search for a specific word, and that becomes an internet rabbit hole. I’m more accepting of these things today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m pretty regimented in my schedule, so I don’t usually skip writing time. There are definitely days I feel less productive than others, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. V.M.Sang says:

    Oh yes. I’m a world cup winner of procrastination. Like now. I should be writing, but of course, I have to check my emails. It’s a part of the job, isn’t it? And aren’t we told to respond and build relationships? So it’s not really procrastinating, is it? It’s doing my job.
    Oh, and there’s research for my new historical novel to do, too. I’ll just plan what’s going to happen next in my current WIP in my head. That’s nearly writing, isn’t it?

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  8. I will do EVERYTHING else before I finish a writing project. & of course, there’s several projects going at once & a monthly deadline & I’m always late. But before I can write, the house has to be clean, the yard mowed or the driveway shoveled (depending on season), errands run. & then I have to take a nap. LOL

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  9. raynayday says:

    Major procrastinator. Level 1400 on spider solitaire. The weird thing is that when I must do it, I do. I spent most of tonight editing other writer’s stories because I said I would. If I had not promised I may have been at level 1405. Bummer so much time wasted doing productive stuff.

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  10. My making time to write is a matter of priorities, which is impacted by the differential between the value I attach to my writing and the value my spouse attaches to a seemingly never ending honey-do list. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jaq says:

    Level 10 Paladin procrastinator here.

    My only way around it is daily assignments for what needs doing most. Today was some website updates and writing a promised review.

    Tomorrow it’s continuing a chapter that has to have action and dialogue match up with another book. That’s going to take full focus, so absolutely must be the first thing I do. Anything else, even adding an entry to my bank record or answering a message on Facebook or an email, will drag me back down the rabbit hole.

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