Motivation · Recommendations

Procrastination and Deadlines

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been writing or editing for the last month. A lot of “life stuff” has been happening, which is a handy excuse, but more to the point I have a bad case of the “I don’t wanna’s”.

What I have been doing well is procrastinating. I finished one TV series (Primeval) and started another (Lost Girl). I started reading–then finished–one book series (The Donovan Legacy by Nora Roberts) then started–and have almost finished–another (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas). And after that’s done, I have three more books ready to go (from the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher).

I enjoy stories and always love falling into them. I like to tell myself I’m doing research. I tell myself that by reading other people’s books, I’ll be more motivated to work on my own. It’s a big lie, of course. All reading books makes me want to do is read more books.

The one motivating thing I did do for myself was go to my monthly Romance Writers of America (RWA) meeting. Going to those meetings is usually good for a boost of energy and motivation for working on my writing career, but it varies how long it lasts. This time it lasted for just over 24 hours. However, that was long enough to get me on the hook for something that might motivate me more.

Our local RWA chapter has an annual conference. I wasn’t going to go this year, but after sitting in on the meeting last Saturday and hearing the presenters talk about it (and mention the signup deadline), I decided I wanted to go. So, about 24 hours after my meeting there I was, forking over the dough to book a room for the weekend to hang out with my fellow writers.

I wish I could say that that alone got me out of my procrastination mode and got me to stop reading all those books (ha!). It didn’t. However, I now have the most coveted thing any artistic person can have. A deadline.

Yes, that’s right. I like deadlines. Deadlines are what force me to move when I don’t really want to. Knowing that in less than a month I’ll be at a conference full of other writers, not to mention agents and editors, gives me a hard end date for my current project. I have the story written, it’s been lightly revised, but now I want to make it shine. That’s my goal, and I hope I stick to it. I want this manuscript to be spit polished and ready for a night out on the town (or a weekend in a random hotel with other writers, you know, whatever).

And so, dear readers, I want to hold myself accountable to you all here. The book is currently 27 chapters long. Some have already been revised (more than once). Others have barely been touched. My deadline is April 12.

Wish me luck.