Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I was going to start this post saying that I’m the Queen of Procrastination, but on second thought I realized that my generation is the entire ruling class of procrastination.  How could we not be?  Easy access to all types of technology and social media was created just when we were on the cusp of adulthood…and thus, during our college years we learned how to procrastinate with those new tools.  We’re experts at stalking people on Facebook until something new comes on the newsfeed, needlessly commenting on photos, staring at Twitter and perfecting our next 140 word update, polishing profiles.  This very blog is my newest method of procrastination…I mindlessly check the stats countless times a day and just a few days ago I spent an hour adding labels to my past blog posts so now they come up in the right hand column.  Such a productive use of time.  NOT.

My guess is that this procrastination talent comes from the fact that nearly everyone of my generation CAN NOT SIT STILL.  Maybe we all have a little bit of ADHD.  Maybe we’ve just been raised in a world where there are soooo many options we just need to do them all.  I am so guilty of this.  Sit down and watch a two-hour movie? How about with my computer on my lap so I can check Twitter during the boring parts?  Write a paper for school?  Only if I can check Facebook as a reward for writing down two sentences.  Read a textbook? Hopefully I have iChat or Skype open so I can instant message my friends while I do so.

I am not proud that I’ve done each and every one of those things regularly.  I CAN NOT unplug and can not fathom when my mom says she hasn’t checked her email for a day or two.  It’s a ‘good’ day when I haven’t checked mine every hour on the hour.  And it doesn’t help that with my new Mac I use Mail which comes up with a tempting little icon every time I have a new piece of mail…whether I want the distraction or not.

So what am I (we?) to do when something actually needs to be done and procrastinating isn’t an option? I’m not sure.  All summer and into this fall when I’ve been writing I’ve set myself a rigid schedule: writing from 10:30-12:30 every day when I don’t have plans (and I try to make that as often as possible).  This has worked pretty well because my brain has gotten into the habit of thinking of my story when it subconsciously knows writing time is close.  I get excited about my novel and want to write, thus those potential distractions are less enticing.  Yet, I naturally write on my computer…Facebook, Twitter, email are all temptingly nearby and sometimes I have to cave, especially if I’m suffering from writer’s block (boo).

Studies have recently said that people can’t multitask- say jumping between writing my YA novel and checking friends’ statuses on Facebook- but somehow, it works for me.  I may not get quite as much work done, but when that college textbook would have put me to sleep had I not been chatting with a friend about weekend plans…I’m pretty darn thankful for all those distractions.

Okay, now it’s time to get back to the manuscript I was supposed to be reading! 

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