Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Writers Are Very Busy Striving to Reach New Levels of Procrastination

We love writing. We really do. Storytelling, whether it be fiction or non-fiction is an obsession, an art, an all-consuming devotion. For many authors, there is a part of them they'll tell you, that would shrivel up and die if they ever didn't write.

And yet, writers will devise the most ridiculous excuses to avoid the writing chair; because it's hard, because we're worried we'll fail, because we're stuck, because we're feeling absolutely drained of energy, because we don't want to kill off a character, because we know how ugly this revision is going to be, or maybe because we just want to see how difficult we can make life for ourselves before we actually -- out of sheer desperation and a now truly terrifying deadline -- must finally turn to the task at hand.

To that end, I thought I'd share some of the ridiculous and one-hundred percent true things that I or my friends (some of whom are best-selling authors with VERY SERIOUS DEADLINES - you know who you are) -- get up to, for some reason, when we're trying to avoid the very thing we love the best.

I like to call this list:

Top Ten Asinine Ways to Avoid Writing Your Book
1. Now is the perfect time to do laundry, renovate, clean,
paint, reorganize and redecorate the house.
2. Research the obtainment of a pet canary.
3. Window-shop for cottage in Scottish Highlands you will never afford.

4. Plan a party, baby shower, or large scale event
that will require weeks of coordination, Or...
5. "I'll host Thanksgiving!"
6. Adopt a new dog.
7. Go to the grocery store because, you tell your partner,
"Can't you see there's nothing to eat in the fridge?!"
8. Invite your best friends for the weekend because "It's been toooooo long!"

9. Yard work. Because, you know, you've got friends and family coming. 

10. Write a new blog post, maybe about procrastination, because that is productive.
It is 
not procrastination. 

These may not seem extreme to you, but that's okay, don't worry. We're always striving to best our last worst procrastination. I hope you'll share your stories about your best worst procrastination techniques - because I'm always looking to add to the ol' arsenal.

Signe Pike is the author of Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World. She lives in Charleston, SC where she is currently *not* at work on a historical novel. Follow her on Facebook or visit her website at www.signepike.com


  1. I often turn to gathering all the loose change in my house and rolling it myself to take to the bank, Scrooge McDuck-style. Deleting old emails also seems like a fairly urgent task when I have a writing deadline. And, I mean, who could argue that binge watching Breaking Bad or cleaning out my closet to donate clothes was any less important than meeting my deadline? No one, that's who. (At least no other writer.)

    1. This is brilliant. But I would expect nothing less from you.

  2. I really want to do 6.

    I have to agree with the bird thing, they can be great for procrastination. My little conure likes to screaaam for attention.

  3. Sometimes I think if I wasn't trying to write a book, my house would never get cleaned! Great list.

  4. Perfectly written and visualizations. I find I have to be in a certain environment. Can I create that environment more often. Well your words have sparked a glimmer in me. I can.
    Namaste Signe so needed this today.