Thank You…Now It’s Time to Get to Work

canstockphoto7404562Thank you to the many bloggers, readers, and writers who stopped by my Freshly Pressed piece “Being Fiction, Instead of Writing It“. I have never experienced that kind of traffic and number of comments on a post before, so it really caught me off guard. I’ve done my best to respond to everyone, but I know sometimes I miss a comment or two.

I appreciated the conversation, the encouragement and the personal experiences that some of you shared. I learned that there are a lot of procrastinating writers out there and that we’ve all read way too much writing advice. This should be somewhat comforting to me, although I’m in a place where the less comfortable I am, the better.

canstockphoto16261737That being said, I’m going to keep this post brief and to the point. I have a novel 3rd draft to finish. I have a short fiction blog to work on and will continue to write weekly posts for The Green Study. When I wrote about my procrastination, it was a way of blowing out the pipes and addressing the situation. I have some writing talent, ambivalent ambition and a lot of excuses that I’ve used up avoiding the work. These things do not a novelist make.

Let’s take the bull by the horns. Today, I’m working on a synopsis and outline for my novel. It’s a little reverse engineering. I was a pantser on the initial novel draft, which has confounded and paralyzed me for the last couple of years. For me to move forward, I need to know where I really want to go. It’s the only way to end procrastination – doing something, anything, that is a step in the right direction. Today.

It might mean catching up on some rest, wrestling with five words, eating slightly better, taking a walk or it could be tackling the mess in the garage or closet. Dear fellow procrastinators, what are you doing today, to contribute to a personal goal, writing or otherwise?

51 Comments on “Thank You…Now It’s Time to Get to Work

  1. Good for you, glad to hear (read) this! OMG am I ever a procrastinator! I will today, as I have been doing for the last week, be tackling drawers, closets, shelves etc. getting rid of all the excess, the unnecessary, the unused, the no-longer-fits-because-it’s-too-big, the no-longer-fits-because-it’s-too-small and the-time-to-toss — all of which have been piling up and up and up because this is probably my least favorite task of all time.

    So I put it off and off and off. But even I reach a breaking point occasionally and this is it!!! My bedroom closet and drawers are pristine, a thing of beauty. That put a major dent in the piles but alas, I’ve just begun. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m liking it. I wish it was my book I was making a dent in, but I’ve got to get rid of the clutter all around me before I can tackle the clutter in my brain. Good luck with all your writing. I look forward to reading it. And congratulations on being “freshly pressed.” Very well deserved, it was a terrific post.

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    • Thanks, Fransi. I think we all have those tasks that get put off. Eventually, they take up permanent residence in our brains and when we finally do them and feel relief, we wonder what took us so long. I’m feeling some massive relief today. Good luck with your decluttering!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Third draft? Wow, that’s impressive, I’m still on the first draft of my book. I have done a blog post this morning, so my aim to update the blog more often is working and now I’m about to write some more of my novel. So far, so good!

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  3. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed Michelle. About time! As for procrastination I’m very proud of myself today. Today I finally made a start on gathering notes and doing some research for a future blog post on the Aboriginal ownership (or otherwise)/culture/ancient art of Kakadu National Park. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed and daunted by this post – how to choose/organise photos, how much info to include re the history of European presence in Oz and how it affected the Aborigines, etc etc. Today I made a start!
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a bit steamrolled by it. For some reason, I hadn’t gotten the FP notification and Saturday, traffic got a little wacky. There are a lot of writers procrastinating. Which is either an object lesson for me or some sort of ironic boon. Needless to say, butt is in chair and I’m doing the work. I should be too embarrassed not to, at this point!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It is the first day of October and I am aiming to completely stop drinking and smoking – hopefully permanently on the smoking front. I’ve always been a social smoker and I’m really trying to knock that, but living in a city and with friends makes it tricky! Hopefully eradicating these two evils will help me to be more productive in my writing 🙂 here’s hoping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re pulling out the big guns (although then you’d have to quit those, too). I quit smoking around 30 (I was an antisocial smoker) and it was my zillionth attempt, so I know what a challenge that is. Drinking stopped in my mid 20s after a totally lame New Year’s, but one where I was so hung over the next day that I barfed in the front seat of my car on the way to work. You kind of know at the point, it’s time to move on!
      Don’t be too hard on yourself, if it takes a few rounds to kick habits you don’t want to keep and good luck with your writing!

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  5. it was a great work, thanks for the reading material!

    On Thursday, October 1, 2015, The Green Study wrote:

    > Michelle at The Green Study posted: “Thank you to the many bloggers, > readers, and writers who stopped by my Freshly Pressed piece “Being > Fiction, Instead of Writing It”. I have never experienced the kind of high > traffic and number of comments on a post before, so it really took me off > guard.”

    Like

  6. I’m just aiming at completing two blog posts a week. And to read more. I’m a little worried about reading others in my chosen genre for fear of subconsciously stealing ideas.

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    • We all steal ideas, whether we know it or not, but if you stick with your own voice, you should be just fine. I read voraciously, but when I’m doing a lot of creative writing, I have to stay away from fiction altogether. I tend not to steal ideas, but can find myself imitating the author’s voice, which I think is worse. Good luck with your week!

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  7. Nice to hear the before and after story of your original post!

    Ellen B, EVERY idea you have came through your subconscious mind “stealing” from somewhere. It will always filter through your individuality, your way of expressing it, your unique filters, and your own way of making it mean something to you and to your audience.

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  8. It probably doesn’t matter in which stage you are – the same problem pops up every time again. Same situation here (settled in a new home, groceries done, child off to school for the first time. No excuses left! The difference is I’m about five stages before yours: I just started my first blog and need to get busy!! Thnx for putting this all into words and for the encouragement you gave to all of us procrastinators!

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    • I think wherever you’re at, it comes down to the same problem of changing gears and changing habits. It’s hard to do, but all we can do is try. Congrats on starting a blog – have fun with it!

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  9. Since reading your other post, I have managed to edit almost half of the novel my son and I have been writing for a few years. It feels good to get working on it again. I have also decided to go back, somewhat as you suggested, and plot out this first book. I am especially looking to make sure we aren’t contradicting ourselves and don’t make blunders in the second book. It may end up being just some sort of graphic organizer, but I feel a real need to do it.
    Thanks for your post and the encouragement it has given me and lots of other writers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wonderful! I feel like I’m willing to try just about anything to get my novel moving along. And that’s why it’s so important – getting through that first book helps us figure out what works. Good luck to you and thanks for the kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m happy they didn’t procrastinate on getting your post freshly pressed. Congratulations, Michelle! I wish you many happy editing hours, and understand your reverse engineering. I have to do the same with my memoir, once I get to it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Today I have updated my own blog, and read this and your previous article, so I am moving forward. Thank you for writing them, they do help.

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    • It’s good to hear I could give a boost. I feel like a dog trying to get off its leash right now – any squirrel I could chase besides staying here and writing would do the trick. I hope I have some sort of breakthrough soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Procrastination sits in the chair in front of the television with me. He likes all the same shows I like, the same football team I like, he even likes the same snacks I dash to the kitchen for during commercials! Isn’t he swell?
    I’m kicking him out today though. Lazy bastard!
    You’re post is encouraging and timely so I throw kudos to you as I open my notebook. Good luck to you!

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  13. I’m getting home later than usual today, so I imagine I won’t have much more than 30 minutes to devote to my novel outlining tonight. I read Chuck Wendig’s giant post about outlining recently and it /really/ helped me make sense of all the note taking, free writing, mind mapping mess I’d been doing haphazardly until now. Here’s to knowledge and clarity!

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    • I really like Wendig’s kickass writing posts. I forced myself to write out a synopsis of my novel today. 10 pages later and themes finally emerged, as well as finally hitting on a title that I can live with. It took about 3 years to get around to it and an hour and a half to write. Dig in – here’s to emerging vision as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yesterday I posted something I’ve chased, wrestled with, and finally pinned down on a page. So now— I intend to drink wine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just finished reading your latest post and have added your blog to my reader – nice work! You are doing what I often have the impulse for, but don’t, which is find answers to random questions. You are so right – everything does have a story!

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  15. I think my first blog I’ve read for a long time, and I am working on my life, so goes, & I’m wanting to want to blog It would be good for me. Well I felt what you wrote more than noticing the words, I read it three times. Funder stood & felt understood. I don’t seem to have the option of being a contemplative Nun in a library to put Alexandria’s to shame. Well Iam commenting, I got the courage to do that from you. That will be printed and shared. Now! Now! You are a writter! You are done (and thinking that may have a contrary effect. Phenomenal work.

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