Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Procrastination Station


A few months ago I wrote a first draft and set it aside. In the meantime I worked on a big revision. But now the first draft manuscript is next in my queue. And I'm terrified to open it up. I haven't so much as glanced at it since I wrote it, and I have no idea what I'm dealing with.

So, what have I done instead of working on that draft?

Suddenly it's become important to me for my home to be clean.
Suddenly it's become important for me to prune my rose bushes.
Suddenly it's become important for me to go through that stack of papers on my kitchen island.
Suddenly it's become important for me to bring out my label maker and organize stuff.

I know exactly what I'm doing. I'm totally procrastinating! Why? Fear, of course! Fear of not knowing how in the heck to fix it. But I know better than this. I know that the only way to fix it is to just dive in. So that's what I'm doing today. Diving in. And I'm excited to experience the story again, no matter the hurdles.

In preparation (and procrastination), I've re-read these previous posts about revision:


But wait...I need to prepare our tax information! Just kidding :D

Do you procrastinate when you're ready to begin a major revision? Or do you just dive in and go for it?


52 comments:

  1. Do I procrastinate? Why do you think I have Twitter, and blogger, and Amazon, and.... :-)

    And what's really bad about all this, usually the thing that I've procrastinated on for days, uh, weeks, when I finally do it, can take as little as a few minutes to a couple of hours. Yes, I'm that bad.

    I had a friend once who said, "Go where it's scary." It's awesome advice. And I usually try to take it.

    But I've got to empty the dishwasher first!

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  2. So, is that why I suddenly decided to thoroughly clean my house this week?

    Scary.

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  3. I procrastinate by checking too many blogs and hanging out on twitter. But yeah, when I'm scared of fixing something or don't know how to fix something, I totally procrastinate.

    Good luck with revisions!

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  4. Ha, ha. Totally understand. I cleaned up my whole house this weekend because I was putting off writing.

    Thanks for the revision links.

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  5. OH, yes. I've been struggling with getting started on my latest rewrite...but thankfully, I finally got over the hump and got started. Now the trick will be keeping momentum!

    I personally procrastinate by checking blogs and doing laundry (but not at the same time!)

    And I LOVE the picture! :)

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  6. Yup. I procrastinate before revising a first draft, and I procrastinate before writing a first draft. I find one more thing I have to research, or I decide I really don't have the voice down yet. Big time fear. But once I get into either the writing or revising, it's so exciting. Good luck getting it done today!

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  7. Yes, I am a big procrastinator, I find all kinds of excuses to avoid tackling revisions.

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    1. Haha the only time my house gets clean is when I'm procrastinating! Needless to say, my fiance loves it when I'm procrastinating.

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  8. I procrastinate about everything! Take a deep breath and open the document :-)

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  9. I always procrastinate. I send e-mails, work on other projects I've been procrastinating,watch way to much tv or read like a fiend. Though, once I finally get started, I usually can't stop, and then everything ELSE gets neglected.

    Good luck!

    <3 Gina Blechman

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  10. You can do it, Julie!
    And hate to say, I enjoy revisions.

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  11. Procrastination Station - HaHa! - hilarious. It sounds like a great title for a tongue in cheek blog, Julie! Yeah, I can procrastinate with the best of them. However, you caught me at one of my few times I'm actually actively revising - later! ^_^ Vicki

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  12. I haven't procrastinated over revisions, but then I have only written one novel so far. Now, I AM procrastinating at starting the second book. That's very daunting to me. How do I get started? The first book came to me whole while this one is more like following breadcrumbs through the forest. And I'm afraid of getting lost.

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  13. I find myself doing the same thing~ chores that might easily be put aside suddenly jump to the front of my mind, and I "can't" work on writing until those things get done :) Thanks so much for those revision links~ those'll come in handy for me!

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  14. You are in a procrastinating fever!

    I do procrastinate sometimes, but once I face the music, I wondered what I was ever afraid of.

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  15. It's like looking in a mirror...

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  16. Procrastinate? Me? Just because I keep finding emails I have to send and things I have to do before... Oh. Yeah. I need to dive in too. I'm scared, but I shall boldly follow your example.

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  17. Those article titles are great - I love "Cliff meet my friend Hanger" and How to Avoid Avoidance!!!

    I have the same problem, putting things off. Time to go eat an elephant!

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  18. I can't decide if it's procrastination or just distraction. But for this latest draft, I've forced myself to buckle down ... and it's been amazing how productive I can be (when I actually try)! Good luck with your 2nd draft! I'm just about to finish up mine and send it off to crit partners!

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  19. Procrastination is my middle name. I've got line edits and a few niddly things that have to be done, but man, let me tell you how clean my house is! I keep saying it's because of the weather and I'm in "spring cleaning" mode, but it's really not, and I know it.

    Take heart, they won't be as bad as you think they are.

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  20. I just finished my taxes, so I don't have an excuse. Good luck on tevisions, and have fun! :-)

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    1. My procrastination exists on many levels. I'm the one with the Christmas tree still in the living room. Yes, we turn the lights on. It's pretty.

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  21. I saw a fun picture on Facebook the other day. It shows a woman vacuuming and dusting. Her husband says, "Wow, the house sure is clean these days. I'm guessing you have writers block again...am I right?"

    What you described isn't writer's block, but procrastination seems to have the same effect. It's obvious when I'm putting something off, because my house looks so clean and organized! lol

    Fun post.

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  22. I love that picture!!! I just finished a huge revision, too. I procrastinated for weeks before buckling down and getting it done. Got another one I've got to do, too. If only we could write things once and move on.

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  23. I'm such a master at procrastination, I celebrated National Procrastination Day a day late.

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  24. I love your honesty, Julie! Luckily, procrastination isn't something I struggle much with. I have so little writing time that when I do piddle my time away, I always regret it come bedtime. I know that writing projects are going to take me so much longer than I'd like them to, so I just can't afford to put stuff off. I do have other bad habits, though. Too much soda? Not going to bed on time? Let's not talk about those...

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  25. I do this every time I start revision. I think I'm terrified the book is going to be ten times worse than what I remember, or require way more work than I expected, or more skill to fix than I have.

    Once I get started (a month behind schedule), things go along pretty well. In fact, I'm finally ready to dig into edits on Colonel Fitzwilliam's story, and I'm actually a little excited about it.

    (My procrastination techniques involve avoiding anything related to my book like the plague and watching lots and lots of television and movies.)

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  26. Procrastination is always tied to fear for me too. Good luck! I know you'll conquer that draft!

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  27. I've been procrastinating over a story that needs more world building, but now month of poetry is over I cannot avoid it any longer. And I have found a brand new beta reader so even less excuses. I used to think if it's that hard you're not meant to do that genre but I realise it just needs a lot of work. Great post!

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  28. Ha! I'm procrastinating this very second by blogging.
    I feel your pain, Julie. The time will come when you'll dive in again, and if you're like me, once you start, you can't stop. Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part!

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  29. What timing! I said I would write all day today on my latest wip and I...baked and wrote two blog posts. I know what's there as I just read my first 15k over yesterday (and liked it *gasp*) but being off this story for a bit has me out of the groove and I'm having trouble getting back in. Plus, i also have another one at 15k and I'm having trouble deciding which is pulling me more at the mo. See? Still procrastinating! Give me a minute, I'll come up with more excuses:)

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  30. I bought some tapes on how to stop procrastinating. But they're on the shelf. I'll be getting to them soon.

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  31. Currently, I seem to be procrastinating writing b/c I'm afraid this draft won't be better than the first 1 or five.

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  32. At this point, my friend, it's about jumping headlong into the project. I "wasted" twenty years already. In fact, now I'm probably guilty of trying to do too much. You probably knew that about me already. Didn't you?
    Good luck and Godspeed with that project.

    -Jimmy

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  33. Okay, who told you? Yes, I'm a procrastinator. (Hanging my head). Is there a 12 step program for procrastinators?

    Best wishes on getting started on that draft.
    : )

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  34. I am horrible at getting to edits. The rewriting process is no bueno for me. I have to finish my last year nano and fix my second book. The thought is overwhelming.

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  35. I have a serious talent for procrastinating. I am soooooooo very good at it! The problem is, the things I procrastinate by doing are fun and creative as well!

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  36. Oh, good luck! It can be scary to dive back into something, when faced with the prospect that there will be so much to fix. O_O The good thing is that setting it aside for a while also gives us fresh eyes to see things, so there is that!

    I hope you have fun with it. I've been terrified of starting to write something or revising something that I know is going to be difficult, but inevitably, the excitement creeps in. ;D

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  37. I am right there with you! I have written several first drafts procrastinating revisions. :) Writing is writing...right? haha :) Good luck! Happy writing!

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  38. Oh Julie, I know all about procrastination... unfortunately I've never reached the revision stage (eek!). Surely it can't be as bad as all that - I mean you felt the need to CLEAN??? Seriously?

    If it were me, I'd find my favourite part of the story and start there. Good luck!

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  39. Usually by the end of the first draft I know what I need to do for major rewrites so I don't usually procrastinate. If I'm not sure what to do next, then I might. but that's when I send it off to betas. I'm sure you'll figure it out!

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  40. Too funny, Julie! I am doing the same thing!!! Revising another MS now, but I did have the passing thought that I'd have to open that older draft when I'm done...Eep! Good for you for diving!!! Do it! And thanks for the links...I'm going to need 'em

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  41. I'm the type that dives right in, usually head first and it can be kind of painful. ;)

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  42. I didn't procrastinate before starting my current revision, but I did take a little break after writing it to give myself some distance. Thanks for sharing all these links!

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  43. I procrastinated with one of my projects so much, it was ridiculous. I think I procrastinate about revising in general. In fact, right now I should be revising and instead I'm reading blogs. Okay, my conscience is talking, better get back to work! *sigh*

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  44. Hehehe yeah procrastination is my bane, but generally when I feel ready to edit or write, it's because I want to. So I only delay for a few hours. ;-)

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  45. I'm about to start reworking the entire plot for my first novel, and I'm sure I'll be dithering about with minutiae before I really get down to it. Thanks for the links on revision--now I have stuff to read instead. ;)

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  46. I'm right there with you, Julie! First draft needs a first revision but I'm paralyzed while I work thru revisions on another MS. It's hard to switch back and forth!

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