Sunday, November 9, 2014

Postcrastination

Procrastination is a hell of a thing, and not really logical at all.

Case in point: yesterday.

Woke up not in the mood to write. It's November, after all. November comes with a not inconsiderable amount of depression baked right into its bones, at least in these latitudes. The leaves have fallen, leaving wooden skeletons everywhere. The weather settles into a dogged pattern: gray clouds set low in the sky, cold drizzle, cheerless gusts of wind. The days are short; the nights are long. It's cold, but not really in the festive way winter can be during a cold snap. November's an in-between month, the equivalent of being stuck in line at the DMV. Everything fun and interesting is happening elsewhere.

It's not like March or April. They have similar weather, at least on paper, but you can look forward to summer, at least. It's getting nicer every day.

November? Nothing to look forward to except for four or five months of blizzards, cabin fever and only one or two holidays to act as speed bumps along the way. Being able to make snow angels soon is a poor consolation.

I had no enthusiasm yesterday morning for anything except sitting around and brooding. Writing was the farthest thing from my mind. When I thought about the book, I couldn't see myself doing more than tapping a few letters on the keyboard, frowning and then going to see if Netflix had anything compelling to watch.

Instead, I reread what I had so far and wrote over a thousand words. More importantly, I did some serious rewriting on the less compelling parts and everything sort of fell into place.

Procrastination is more about inertia for me. That initial feeling of "don't wanna" (there's probably a German word for that, and it's most likely eighteen syllables long)...anyway, that initial hesitation, that feeling of angst...it really has no relationship to actual writing, or what might potentially get done in a writing session.

Half the struggle in writing is simply getting yourself to sit down in the first place. The old saying, eighty percent of success is just showing up, is a truism. You can't win if you're not there.

One of the things that I always found surprising when hiring people, even during the dog days of the last few market crashes, was how many simply didn't show up for the interview. We'd get a few dozen resumes. Call in ten people. Maybe two or three would actually show up.

You have to wonder what happened. Maybe they found another job without cluing us in, maybe they chickened out. Maybe they had family emergencies. There was a rash grandmothers dying somewhere in Southwest Michigan, possibly. Maybe their car broke down.

Maybe most people are kind of flaky and procrastinate too much.

Anyway. I make my best progress writing when I make a commitment to sit my ass in the chair every day, more or less at the same time, and pound out words.

In other news, a friend pointed out this video last night:


It's pretty quality.

As a dude who has a Master's degree in English, I'm actually a big fan of the Oxford comma. Also, I am perpetually surprised to find out that Vampire Weekend isn't a teen-oriented emo hard rock group. I mean, it's got vampires in the title, for God's sake.



Totals: 500, 1039, 1118, 556, 528, 1047 and 561.

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