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On procrastination

Cheryl's Musings: On procrastination

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


On procrastination

Here's something I don't get: Why, since I love to write so much, do I take so long to get to it? From talking to other writer friends, I don't think I'm alone. When it's time to write, I have a tendency to check my e-mail, get a cup of coffee, check my bids for freelance work, check my interlibrary loan status, write another blog post , get another cup of coffee, light a candle, and then decide I should do yoga before I start writing. What's with that?

Here are my top ten procrastination snares:

  1. Checking e-mail (and reading messages, and replying, and checking the weather....)

  2. Bidding for freelance work

  3. Coffee

  4. Picking up stuff around the house

  5. Cleaning the kitchen

  6. Starting a quick load of laundry

  7. Writing another blog post :)

  8. Playing with the poodle

  9. Excessive research

  10. Re-reading what I've written

    My best writing days are when I plan a time beforehand--make an appointment with myself--and then stick with it. So. Gotta go--I have an important appointment on my calendar!


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At October 20, 2007 at 9:33 PM , Blogger The Once said...

Ahhhhhhh, the wonders of procrastination. This is the best subject you've touched on yet! It seems that the human mind knows what we should be doing, and therefore avoids it. No matter how much you love something if you have to do it it becomes a chore.
Speaking of this you should let R get on Skype more, as said in a previous email, and let him procrastinate. Yes, wouldn't that be nice? *nods* I must go to bed now, alas, oh well, I shall continue in a few moments. -Fellow Procrastinator and *still* crazed-friend-of-your-son.

At October 22, 2007 at 8:03 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

So maybe the trick is to make sure writing is my "get to do" work instead of my "have to do" work! But if I don't plan a specific time, I have a hard time making that time a priority! Oh, well. BTW, R is on Skype as much as possible :). Au revoir...C

At October 23, 2007 at 8:58 PM , Blogger The Once said...

Ah, but planning, is simply horrible, it makes your( brain think too much and then explode! Quite annoying, is it not to use paper and time, to write everything down? But R is not nearly not on Skype enough! You can never chat too much! (Meaning he should be on a tad bit more) And doesn't your faithful poodle crash into walls and fences (ie. Running, running, running, CRASH!)? -Toodle-oodles! Who else, but the-yet-still-crazed-friend-of-your-son;D

At October 23, 2007 at 10:44 PM , Blogger The Once said...

Oh, and before I got to bed, what's with the prarie dog? JUst colordo rodents?-ACFOYS aka ZCOGGASG

At October 24, 2007 at 7:10 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Re. brain explosions--I think that only happens if you try to plan too MUCH, or in too much detail. Then definitely, explosions are a risk. Re. the prairie dog--I don't know, he just appeared particularly thoughtful and appropriate. Re. R--ask him about his afternoon yesterday and you'll see why he wasn't on :). Happy Bday ZCOGGASG! ~C

At October 27, 2007 at 12:35 PM , Blogger The Once said...

So F is good at chess? I'm sorry for not replying sooner, my laptop has issues, and requires me to send each comment twice, which very annoying because I keep on forgetting. According to R for the past few nights he stayed up late doing homework...Thank you, for the Happy Birthday, and did R mak the little bracelet on the container, it's very pretty...R's still not on quite enough, but it's getting better...

At October 27, 2007 at 12:50 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Uh-oh--I can no longer decipher your abbreviations! What is "TPGFOYWBAABPITWS"? R didn't make the bracelet, but he picked it out b/c he thought you'd like it--he made the tissue-paper onion inside :). Glad R is on more :). Not only did he have a ton of homework, we had a miscommunication last week and he walked home after school :( -- that was a bummer of an afternoon for him. And yes, F is good at chess. No one will play with him around here, so if you ever want a game he'll be thrilled. Now I have to go work on MY homework...C.

At October 29, 2007 at 6:20 PM , Blogger Aunt Kristina said...

Cheryl, I just found your blog and feel like it's a sign. I'm a wannabe writer; I love reading and telling stories for kids. I have a few board books published for a small company I used to work for but they are no longer in business. Do you have any tips on how to keep motivated and to keep trying to get published? I'm so fearful of rejection, which I know is par for the course, but I'm just overwhelmed I supposed. Do you have anything that helped you when you first began to write seriously?

At October 29, 2007 at 6:57 PM , Blogger The Once said...

Oh dear. Um...(Tries to remember what abriviation stood for)It stood for something, I know that...Shoul I ever remember i will tell you. And you house is what, 30 minutes on bike and 2 miles away from Summit? Walking to your house, sounds very fun indeed. I notice F is very good, or maybe I'm just really sucky at chess considering that until recently I thought pawns were ponds...Homework is always fun!!(not.)
You know, R's bedtime should be changed to I dunno, 10-ish, so therefore he doesnt have to get ready for bed until 9:30! :D (The Onion Person will be happy if this should happen) ^^! -Toodle-oos! R should still be on Skypee more, but oh well! Adios!TPWWSUAOESWDBSNRTEITVVO(aka. The person who will stop using abbriviations or else she will die because she never remembers them except if they are very very obvious)

At October 30, 2007 at 8:54 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi Aunt Kristina--I'm so glad you did find my blog! Your question is such a great one, I think I'll write a post about it. It is REALLY tough to stay motivated--and keep writing and submitting. Like you said, all of us face this problem. It's not just a "beginniner writer" issue, either; I have friends who have been writing longer than I have, who write incredible books, and have yet to be published in book-length fiction. My main sources of encouragement have been writing/critique groups, for feedback and encouragement, and writing classes. There are so many options, though, I can't fit them all in a reply. I'll write a new post on the subject soon! ~Cheryl

At October 30, 2007 at 8:58 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Dear ZCOGGASG--Thanks for my morning laugh! I feel better for not figuring out your abbreviation, since you can't remember, either :). F is very good at chess; but you're also probably sleep-deprived because of all that homework, so that gives you a disadvantage. Hey--NaNoWriMo starts in two days. Are you or any of your writing/reading fanatic friends going to join in the great novel-writing adventure? (Hmm. I think I should write a post about that, too....) ~Cheryl


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