The Fine Art of Procrastination

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I procrastinate, even when I have a deadline looming large—or perhaps because I do and suddenly it all begins to feel a bit overwhelming. Here are my top 5 ways to fritter away the time I should spend writing:

Pinterest: Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest. If I’m looking for a recipe, or how-to build a wood shed, Pinterest is the first place I look. I have 26 boards relating to movies, books, TV shows, running, golf—the list goes on—and because my profile is linked to my author website, occasionally Pinterest will bring me some traffic. But Pinterest can also be a place where I spend way too much time pinning pins instead of spinning a yarn.

Facebook: The original time suck! I used to have an author page only, so I could justify the time spent finding and scheduling posts. In February 2015, Facebook changed the rules and everyone with an author page had to have it linked to a personal page. Now I’m able to double the time I spend on Facebook…of course, on the plus side, I’ve made a lot of new friends!

Googling Under the Guise of Research: Research is as much a part of writing as the actual writing; some might even argue it’s more important. After all, one wrong fact and you’ve lost the trust of your reader. It’s when I start googling things like “was there a full moon on May 1, 1980, when my protagonist, Callie Barnstable was born?” That might be important to know if I was writing a vampire series. I’m not.

Gaius Charles as Brian “Smash” Williams in Friday Night Lights

Who was that actor in that TV show I watched last night and why can’t I remember what he/she was in before?: The ultimate mind niggle that won’t let go. It happened to me recently, when I was marathon watching the excellent series, Friday Night Lights (I don’t know how I missed it originally). There’s an actor, Gaius Charles, who played Brian “Smash” Williams, and I’m thinking…where do I know him from? I’m running the shows I regularly watch in my mind, and saying, nope, nope, nope, when suddenly I remember: Grey’s Anatomy. He was Dr. Shane Ross. This of course, leads me to do another google. You never know when Gaius Charles trivia can come in handy.

Office Cleanup: Cleaning up my desk drawer, sorting my paperclips by color (because what self-respecting author would have those plain metal paperclips), tidying up my bookshelf, typing up labels for my file folders using a different font…

Do you have a favorite way to procrastinate? I’d love to hear about it!

8 responses to “The Fine Art of Procrastination

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Excellent strateg, Carol!

  2. I always have such good reasons to procrastinate. My latest is that I’m not procrastinating I’m just incubating my ideas! 🙂

  3. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi Sharon, I do that too, look up the whole cast, especially when some of the cast looks familiar but I can’t place them. That can drive me crazy!

  4. Judy Penz Sheluk

    It can be great. I do look up recipes on there all the time. And a lot of the comics I post on Facebook come from Pinterest!

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Susan, Pinterest is one of the worst for us procrastinators. You can lose yourself in there! And you can always find good brownie recipes too!

  6. Procrastination? Hmm, I think I’ll just read book blogs and writer blogs. For inspiration, you know. Write comments on blogs, too.

    Pinterest. Well, I use it for research, also inspiration. Which is why I have a folder for some of my active projects, so I can save pictures that look like my characters, or their house, or the sweater they were wearing on Christmas Eve.

    And then, every now and then, I just have to have brownies. Better go bake some.

  7. Pinterest. Hands down. I have a remodel project on the horizon and a friend suggested I research ideas on that platform. Whoa. I’ve gotten to the point where I have to restrict my browsing to evening only. I’ve found some amazing ideas, though!

  8. I love this… I was glad to see somebody else looks up TV characters… I actually keep my iPhone next to me to do it. I will look up the whole cast, mostly because I want to know how old they are, what they are doing now, if they are married, etc etc etc. and although I am not an author I have to have a near desk.. I have to sit and look at it after all!
    Have a great day Judy!