Procrastination, for writers, often means going off to do something else that is still personally constructive – like housework, taking a shower, or exercising … or writing a blog post. It still feels like we’re not working to task, but something is getting done. Usually, doing this other activity actually helps us get our thoughts in order, so that we can go back to writing inspired and refreshed and full of enthusiasm.
But what if you are writing to a deadline?
This is a tricky problem. Some people work better under pressure and some people collapse into a quivering,useless heap. If you think you are in the first category … are you sure? Or is this the excuse you are telling yourself to procrastinate some more? If you really do your best work when under pressure, you can stop reading now. This blog is for the rest of us.
If you have a deadline and you are still procrastinating, time to lift your game. This is using your procrastination to actively move forward in your task. Do more research about your topic (with the Steampunk genre, you can never have too much research under your belt). Reread your notes and shuffle them; are they in the very best order? Can you arrange things to create more clarity in your prose? Email your writing group for advice (real advice, not to gossip). Edit out unnecessary words and phrases and sentences. Write a completion timetable, and stick to it. This is positive procrastination, which is actually pushing you towards your deadline rather than holding you back.
This is what I meant by Olympic Level Procrastination. Make it work for you.