Procrastination noun delay, dilatoriness, hesitation, slackness, slowness, temporization
Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I will' philosophy. Denis Waitley (American motivational speaker. b.1933)
One thing that's good about procrastination is that you always have something planned for tomorrow. G. B. Stern (British novelist, 1890 -1973)
I often think if I were as diligent with the art of writing as I am with the art of procrastination, I’d be published by now. I often wonder why I waste so much energy using delaying tactics when it comes to approaching my writing.
I’m busy with the last corrections on my current manuscript right now, so it’s not even as if it is a difficult task. The worst is behind me. Or perhaps it’s ahead of me, because – of course – once I put this ms to bed, I’ll have to start on the next one. And therein lies the answer to why I procrastinate: fear.
As long as this ms is still active, I can feel all “writerly” and professional. What a lovely ring it has when someone says “And what did you do today?” and I answer, ever so casually, “Oh, I worked on the re-writes of my current ms.” But lurking beneath the smugness is the fear that no one except myself can sense.
That fear has a face and it’s called “closure”. When this novel is finished, that’s it. No more dreaming of how great a novel it is. It’s time for a reality check. Because once it’s finished it has to be sent out to face its future - alone.
A future that may include the knowledge that this novel is not The Novel, my breakthrough. Once all the responses to the query letters have come back, there is nothing else to do on this story.
I may get all rejections, or, if I’m very, very lucky, there may be a request or two for a partial, which may or may not lead to a request for a full. But the statistics are daunting, and it's much easier to simply procrastinate (and call it rewriting) then get myself to the point of actually completing the ms because, as long as I’m still rewriting, I don’t have to fling it out into the wide wide world of publishing in an attempt to beat the odds.
Well, luckily, I’m a gambler at heart. I think all writers must be, because writing is like bungee jumping for the soul. One has to leap into the abyss, with absolutely no hesitation and no thought of what could go wrong. That’s what I’ve done. Even though I’m still busy with the final rewrites, I stopped procrastinating. I closed my eyes and leapt. I mailed my query letters.
And so, my part in the life of this dear manuscript is complete. Its fate is now in the hands of the gods and...ce qui sera, sera.