Favorite Procrastination Activities I Do Instead of Write

Unlike a lot of more focused and productive people who write (or perhaps like a lot of other people who write), I spend a lot of time procrastinating before actually writing. Sometimes I have good excuses, being sick for example (like I’ve been since the turn of the year, so Ha! I am excused!), or doing research, or allowing things to gestate in my head (okay, so sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s just an excuse). But most of the time, I’m just screwing around and not getting to it. This is a sad admission, I admit. Imagine all the time I’ve spent screwing around when I could have been writing, or writing better!

In attempts to temper this tendency to do other things (yeah right, okay I know I’ll backslide and do these things every once in a while), and see if these are common things to do, I’m making a list of the stuff I do (mostly stupid) instead of writing. This is the stuff that I suddenly realize I should do, or suddenly feel a compulsion to do when I finally find time to sit down and supposedly write.

1. Write something else.

For some reason, this works exceptionally well. When I’m supposed to be writing literary, I suddenly find myself preparing notes for class, or doing online forum discussions. And vice versa. When I need, need, need to prepare a syllabus or reading list, suddenly the ideas for a story or essay come surging forward. Right now, I’m supposed to be working on this novel I’ve been threatening to finish, and this wonderful blog entry popped into my head. The worst instance of this is the scribbled notes that form the outline of a second novel that are on my whiteboard, which as yet cannot be entertained because I was supposed to be working on aforementioned novel.

2. Air Guitar.

3. Air Bass.

4. Air Drums.

5. Converting ebook files from one format to another and loading them up on my Kindle.

6. Compulsively checking my latest Facebook status to see if anyone has liked it.

7. Thinking about Food

8. Arranging my iTunes library and filling in information.

9. Fixing my room. Arranging stuff, piling DVDs and books nicely.

10. Cutting my nails, shaving, other personal grooming concerns.

11. “Research” which is really just surfing the net or watching music videos on youtube.

12. “Consulting with possible readers” which is really just bugging people via IM.

13. Walking around, stretching, supposedly getting the blood flowing.

14. Playing word games in my head, anagrams mostly.

15. Thinking of all the fun things I could be doing instead of writing.


To be honest, I wind up usually doing these in the order that they are listed. When I’m lucky, after some Air Guitar or Air Bass I’ll actually get to do some writing. But when I get past the Air Drumming, then I kind of jump around while sneaking in a few sentences. And it’ll go back and forth between writing and these activities.


2 Responses to Favorite Procrastination Activities I Do Instead of Write

  1. I can relate! There are so many things on my To-do List that writing has slumped to the bottom of it all. I blame working, the need to hand-make Christmas & birthday cards, trying to unclutter my house, do dishes, do laundry – all things that seem important at the time, but take me away from the keyboard. The point of starting my own blog was to focus my energy on writing in the hope that I would finally be motivated to complete my third novel . . . and then there is the research that needs to be done in order to finish said novel. There’s always something, isn’t there?

  2. Peggy Isaacs says:

    Can totally relate – well, except for the air guitar part…but give me time.

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