Daily Prompt: Procrastination

What have you been putting off doing? Why?

Well, I have been putting off writing this post, typing up one I wrote out in my notebook last week, and other things like applying for auditions/school, writing/editing, cleaning, all that jazz. I’m what one would call a “chronic procrastinator“; if there were an awards ceremony for procrastination, I’d probably win all of them, granted it’s not put off indefinitely.

There are two reasons for procrastination, the first being laziness. It’s easy to be lazy, to wait until later to get things done. Being lazy is being comfortable. But when it comes to doing simple household chores, getting that important letter or package sent out, or getting groceries and cooking, and not getting them done, you kick yourself for not acting sooner.

Another reason is plain old fear. Some things are scary to do, especially when one is so used to other people doing those things for them, like cleaning or cooking of filing income tax. They may have not seen it done before, and don’t wanna mess anything up. They certainly don’t wanna be seen as a complete idiot for not doing it right. It’s not that hard to hold oneself back deliberately, letting someone else with more experience to do the work. They delude themselves into thinking they won’t have to worry about it later but, to their dismay, they do, and constantly.

I should know, because I was — and still am — that person, for both reasons. Laziness is comfortable; it’s nice to lay around like a bum, with no responsibilities. I still live with my mom, and my sister-in-law does most of the cooking and cleaning anyway. But it’s not so much fun when there are things I could be doing, like editing one of my NaNo novels, or washing dishes I’ve used, and the only reason I get around to doing anything is because the boredom becomes too much.

The fear factor comes in with writing and acting: I can only imagine the opportunities I could have had while I was still in New York, possible credits I could have added to my resumé had I not blown them off out of fear. I was too afraid of either not getting the role I wanted or not doing the role justice. I didn’t have the confidence.

I also hold myself back from writing and submitting short stories or finishing fan fiction for fear it won’t be received or it’ll be poorly written. I understand these days that writing is a process, and will never be perfect. Performing is portraying a character and transcribing their imperfection as well as their reactions to their imperfect world, and there’s no need to worry about getting it wrong as long as you’re doing the work and making it something you yourself can enjoy, and that’s when others can enjoy what you’ve given them.

When I saw this prompt this morning, soon after waking up, I procrastinated on writing it until I wrote the prompt down in my notebook, and the words began to flow. I’ve broken the spell, and it feels good to know such a thing is possible.

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12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Procrastination

  1. i totally feel you! you have described what i am feeling so well i am definitely re blogging it! i too fear writing badly and acting. the writing part i am taking steps to wok on. the acting part is another story don’t intend to deal with for now. i guess at one time or another we have to get down to actually doing the things we badly want to, right?

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    1. I’m doing exactly what you’re doing!

      I’ve decided to work on what comes easiest to me, and that’s writing. The acting thing can wait, for I’m going to study it at the local community college and hopefully another institution in NYC. I need to learn the craft, as well as not be afraid to pose questions to those who are experienced in the field. I also need to gather the confidence to put myself out there, because I know I can do it!

      The same goes for writing: I’ve already made the step of simply… writing. It’s the editing process I need to put faith in, the rewriting, multiple drafts, and getting over perfection, because I read the works of others and wonder when they gathered the courage to stop editing and publish it for the masses and still be amazing. I can start with the unfinished fan fiction I’ve already written and complete them, as well as edit those NaNo novels sitting in my external hard drive.

      You can surely get it done, as long as you work to block out the thought of an audience reading your work, because the strive for perfection and the fear of not impressing someone or getting something wrong is a writer’s downfall. It’s certainly held me back from writing novels I’ve imagined years ago — and surprisingly still remember — editing them, and posting them or submitting them for publication in fear of being rejected. But there are probably worse thing than being rejected or someone not liking what you’ve written.

      As long as you enjoy what you’ve written, that’s all that matters. What you enjoy will possibly be something other people enjoy. So keep that in mind. Us writers are our own worst critics, but we can be fantastic scribes if we take the time to sit, write ,and let our characters take us on their journey and transcribe their experiences and reactions to their world, and your enjoyment will show in your work.

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      1. hehe! same case here with novels! i have kept them off so long at one time i feared that maybe telling stories wasnt my thing! but then these stories keep popping up in my head- demanding to be written down and remembered and keep popping up wanting to be told!
        i have never felt this scared but then i think- whats the worst case scenario? i get bad reviews-but also some encouragements e.t.c but one thing i that i will definitely grow better and better. and that’s something great!
        like you say, as long as you enjoy what you’ve written, that’s all that matters.

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      2. Just write, strengthen that muscle, and you’ll be one of the best storytellers born, even if you’re only telling those stories to yourself. Just make sure you write them down so you can look back at them later on in life and say, “I wrote that.”

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