Sheryl R. Hayes

Figuring out writing one word at a time.

Procrastination Blues

I’ve been hit heavily with the procrastination blues this week.

It’s not that I don’t have a lot of things to do. It’s that I’ve had a hard time dredging up the focus to do them. My plans for this week were to draft a few query letters, work on a synopsis and finish a short story draft.  None of those have been accomplished. What I have done is get to level 34 of Candy Crush Jelly.

I know some of this is stress. Mom had her second cataract removed, and this surgery was rougher on her than before. Because of a required meeting at the day job, I couldn’t take an extra day off to help her deal with a heater issue.

When I have sat down to write, my focus has scattered. I can see there is a problem with the short story, been told by several readers independently what it is, but I can’t come up with a way to fix it. So I’ve put it to one side  and am working on what was a short story and may turn into at least a novella.

What I’ve noticed is that I am setting deadlines and keeping them, such as the one for this blog.  I’ve had all week to write it, but I’ve only managed to get around to doing it at 10:00 PM on Sunday night.  This is a wonderful example of what the Greeks called akrasia, or the state of acting against one’s better judgement.  It’s something I’ve noticed in my life more and more.

I’m not sure how to combat it. I have a feeling that identifying it is the first step. I’m not sure what the next step is, but I have a feeling it doesn’t have to do with setting a deadline to figure it out.

1 Comment

  1. I have been in this spot many times. It’s not procrastination. It’s called “dealing with stuff” and the most important thing you can do is not beat yourself up. Of course your focus is scattered with all of this going on in your life. When a sailboat hits a storm at sea, they fold up the sails and ride it out. When the skies clear, they open up the sails and get back on course. Remember, you’re always writing even if your fingers aren’t at the keyboard. Somewhere in the back of your mind, the solution to this short story is simmering. The answer will pop up when you’re ready. Hang in there!

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