For instance, on 5th December, my tenth book for 2019 will be published! You read that right – TEN books. Part of this is due to excellent organisational skills (more on this in another blog coming soon) and part of it is knowing how to utilise what I call “helpful procrastination”.
Did you know there is such a thing?
You do now. :-)
One of my favourite romantic poets, John Keats, would tell his friends that in those moments when it looked like all he was doing was staring into the distance, that was the time he was doing his best work.
But most of us are not John Keats . . .
Helpful Procrastination is:
-Writing a blog post
-Reading (fiction, non-fiction, a magazine, this blog and others, a newspaper, etc.)
-Research for a book
-Making notes for a book
-Taking a writing course or class
-Talking to/networking with other authors and writers
-Certain daydreaming techniques (see my non-fiction book written as Alicia Leigh, The Dreaming Writer, for more on this.)
-Attending writing festivals and events
-Thinking about writing/your story, plots, and characters
Wasteful procrastination is:
-All those “little things” you do to get out of writing (e.g. playing a game on your phone, making a phone call that can wait, paying bills during your writing session, suddenly needing to do the vacuuming, checking your social media and/or email for the twentieth time that day, watching too much television, etc.)
You can also ask yourself these two questions:
1. “Is this activity serving my writing?”
No = stop doing it and return to your writing
Yes = keep doing it
2. “Can this wait until after my writing session?”
No = keep doing it
Yes = stop doing it and return to your writing
Now, it’s over to you. Put these steps into practice and see how your procrastination morphs from wasteful to helpful, then let me know how you went in the comments below. Also, feel free to comment with any other helpful procrastination tips, tricks, or techniques you use.
A.K. Leigh xo