Wednesday, May 16, 2012

8 Stages of Procrasti-writing

Last Wednesday I provided a list of the 8 (fabricated) Stages of Novel Writing. Loved the strong response to this post. Seems many of us are paddling along in the same boat. (Ah, paddle boats, remember those?) Anyhoo…I’m playing off the stages of grief again.

Quick review of those stages:
Denial & Isolation

But today I’m giving you the 8 Stages of Procrasti-writing. These are the times we spend our energy focusing on any method of writing other than concentrating on our novels or works in progress. Because we’re scared of the big bad beasts. I say we need to stop being sallies and get to it.

Before we can do that, however, let’s have a hearty chuckle about the tried and true ways we stall “the process”.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Doodle
Artwork stirs creative vigor. So what if it’s just lined paper pockmarked with seventy pictures of flowers or cartoons that closely resemble Popeye. All in the name of stirring.

The Grocery List (not to mention the infamous “To Do” list)
Must eat to incite meaningful story lines. Scrawl down avocados and carrots (the better to see the screen with). Oh, and throw tp on the list because it’s never fun to run out of that.

Na na na na na na na na…Notes
Main character has Medusa hair. No. Bird’s nest hair. No. Listen, if it’s taking this long to figure out the appearance of the MCs hair maybe it’s best not to comb through that one. Move ahead until the bouffant is bold.

Calling all Status Updates
Twitter, Facebook, anyone? Both are intentionally designed to stop writers in their tracks. A trick that often works with me is to ask myself: Is what I’m about to post necessary? And if it’s not necessary is at the very least funny? And if it’s not funny, is it at least…If not, I crack the whip on myself and get back to work.

Sure, I’ll Review Your Book
Because reviewing means I’m reading and reading is what authors do, right? If you’re anything like me when I write a book review, you take a studious approach. I’m careful with my wording. Sometimes it takes me over an hour to make sure I’ve adequately communicated all I intend to for a book review. And it’s still writing, right? Oh heck yeah. Except I’m neglecting to mention one wee little thing—it’s not my MS I’m writing about.

Thank You and Thank You and Thank You
The old fashioned thank you letter. Nothing beats it, except when it’s being used. Oh how sad, we even use thank you letters. We’ll just call this one the positive stall technique and leave it at that.

Researching Baby Names
Not pregnant, no one remotely close to you is pregnant. Makes perfect sense, you’re looking for character names. And everyone knows you can’t name your bad guys after any ex-boyfriends. Shucks, Carter would have been a perfect name in my fourth novel. Guess I better click on one of those name finder .com sites and scroll through to make note of some more.

Bucket List
The noble one of the bunch. This is the door holder of the crew, the queen of hearts, the longest straw. How can you vilify the creation of a bucket list, Wendy? I’m not. I’m pleading the fifth. However, I’ll say in a teeny tiny voice…it’s not going to add word count to your WIP. Ah, feels better to get that out. ;-)

Am I talking to anyone today?
*photo by stock.XCHNG
**Hmm…notice how I conspicuously left writing blog posts off my list of 8?


  1. Facebook gets me every time and so does blog hopping. :)

  2. I'm definitely guilty of a few of those. I will say, though, that I've never made a bucket list. Is that bad?

  3. Haha, that's awesome! I've definitely been guilty of the update status one...and does making a bucket list count if you use it as a blog post? Cuz I've done that before...

  4. haha...I believe that I've touched on each one of those at some point.

  5. Soooo awesome! I use them all. I also use cleaning, snacking, taking the dog for a walk... I have an arsenol, let me tell you! :)

  6. LOL. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've been guilty of all of these. :)

  7. yep.
    I wrote a few hundred words last night, but it was hard. For some reason this WIP is giving me fits. Blech.

  8. Been there, done that! :) I recognize myself in some of these.

  9. Twitter is my playground. It can suck me in instantly and it's the first place I want to go when I get a little stuck.

  10. Doing pretty much all of the above today! Grrrrr!

  11. Paddle boating along with all of you. Just got back from elementary school concert. Good times! Thanks for swinging by today. Think Blogger ate a few. Maybe it'll spit 'em out in due time.

    Hope you're having a good May day.
    ~ Wendy

  12. Wendy, this is hilarious! I look at baby names for my characters ALL the time when I'm procrastinating. Too funny--loved this post.

  13. Lol, I'm a chronic updater. And research is a popular delaying tactic too. :) Congrats on your RAOK shoutout this week too!

  14. I was just thinking today (again) how I need to cut back on my facebook time and jump more quickly into writing time. Once I get into my writing/editing, I don't want to stop, but it's getting going that's the problem. Ugh!


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