By Paula Bianchi –
There’s a big part of me that really didn’t want to write about this topic, but I know that if I don’t face this head on, I’ll never overcome it because procrastination has been my Achilles’ heel, and I’ve played this mind game my whole life. I don’t know if it’s a genetic thing or a learned one, but everyone in my family has been guilty of procrastinating.
During my school years, I always waited until the day before an assignment was due before I would start working on it. Most times, I would just stay home from school to finish something that was due that day. I missed out on school pictures and events, or just hanging out with my friends, from my choice, but at least, I did complete my school work.
Believe me when I say, I know it’s better to get things done way before the time you need them. I just struggle with getting myself to do things in a timely matter. After I got married, I did improve on some things like for my kids and what they had to do. I didn’t want to teach them to procrastinate, so they had to do their homework before they could play. If they had a project to do, I tried to teach them to work on it a little each day instead of rushing to get it done the night before it was due. Of course, by high school, they were in charge of their own work, and I did notice them sometimes following my genetic line by repeating my flaw of procrastination.
I’m terrible with mailing anything on time especially birthday cards and gifts. I put it off and put it off until their birthday has come and gone, then, I feel like shit for not sending it on time. The hardest part about procrastinating is when you let someone you care for down. This has been my driving force in my wanting to overcome this particular trait in my life. Well, that and what it does to me personally.
Procrastination has been at the center of me wanting a writing career since the late 80’s and early 90’s. I was constantly talking about writing to my husband because I had this story about a kid and an alien spinning in my head. Finally, one day Alan told me, quite bluntly, to start writing it down and he was right.
The next day I sat down with a pen and paper and started to write. Right away, the perfectionist in me was not happy with what I saw and knew to be errors in my writing. Because of all the books I’ve read, I knew how a story should flow, and my story fell short of that, so I signed up for a business English class at our local adult school, so I could learn punctuation and sentence structure.
Once I passed that class (with an A), I enrolled with the: Institute of Children’s Literature, which had a course I could complete through the mail. The last assignment in this course was the first 2 chapters of my children’s book. With 2 chapters under my belt, I continued working on my book until it was finished. It felt so good to have completed something in my life. I was so excited, but then came the work of sending out my manuscript in the hopes of getting a contract deal with a publishing house. I sent my book out 12 times and each time, it came back to me with a short note stating it didn’t fit their needs. I was so discouraged. No one was willing to tell me what was wrong with my story or how I could fix it to ‘fit their needs’.
Then in 1998, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” hit the book stores, and I ran to buy a copy. From the moment I started reading it, I could plainly see why my book kept coming back. I picked my book apart in my head, then, I threw it in a drawer and forgot about it and writing.
Later, after a couple of years procrastinating, a new story filled my brain especially while I was in the shower. It hounded me from morning till night. It was a time travel romance story set during the gold rush times in California. This urge pushed me to sign up for another mail order course for romance writers, and I got to work with a published author. She assured me that by the end of the course, I would have the first 3 chapters of my book, and she was true to her word. She had so much faith in me and loved my story. I really thought this was it, but it wasn’t. What happened next, I would never wish upon another writer.
When I sat down to write chapter 4, which was about the villain in my story, I hit a wall called, ‘writer’s block’. Yes, it’s very real and very debilitating. It’s like trying to take a shit and nothing comes out. I would sit there waiting for something, anything, to come but nothing. Tears would flow from my eyes as I tried to push some words out. Again, I threw my 3 chapters in a drawer and forgot about them. Now, I was mad at writing.
My procrastinating kicked into high gear, and I did everything I could to keep myself from ‘feeling’ writer’s block again. I convinced myself I was done with writing and started filling up my time with online computer games on Facebook first, then, I started getting the free games on Amazon which led me to a game called, Township. I still love this game and all the people I’ve met playing it. They’re such a wonderful group of people. I’m friends with over 1,500 people around the world through Facebook, and it’s always been positive. Through my obsession with gaming, I managed to push down that writing voice inside of me, even in the shower, until one day the dam burst.
I was flooded with thoughts about a metaphysical story based on all the stuff I’ve read and experienced in my life time, but it was also going to have fictional characters in it to give the view point of the other side via spirit guides and angels. I managed to write an outline for my story and planned out all my character’s names. Even after all of this pushing and pushing at me, I still chose to procrastinate by playing my game instead of writing.
Then at the end of last year, I stumbled upon an online site called, Money Making Mommy. The author of this site lists jobs that moms could do from home. For some reason, blogging leaped off the page and into my lap. I had never followed a blog, but I knew I could turn my book idea into one. So, in April of this year, I wrote 8 articles and by May 3rd I launched, “This Weird Chick’s Blog.” It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Since I turned one book idea into this blog, I’ve been toying with the idea of taking my time travel romance story and writing it as a movie script.
It feels so good to be writing every day, and I’ve joined a wonderful community of bloggers who lift me up. Do I still procrastinate? You betcha, but not so much for writing anymore. Now it’s paying the bills, grocery shopping, and the laundry. I don’t think that will ever change. Lol.
In my next metaphysical article, I’ll talk about the afterlife. I appreciate you sharing your time with me. See ya next time. Bye for now.