Monday, August 04, 2014

You Know You’re a Writer When You Procrastinate by…


Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.

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You Know You’re a Writer When You Procrastinate by…

1. Making a playlist to write to. I’m dying to do this. I’ve heard that some of my favorite authors have playlists they listen to depending on the type of scene they’re writing. Chase scene—maybe something from the Bourne trilogy? Romance—gotta be the Pride and Prejudice score. Big climax—I’d go with something from The Lord of the Rings or Avatar. Sadly, while this may help get the creative juices flowing, it’s not the same thing as actual writing.

2. Researching name origins for your secondary characters. I know you read that Writer’s Digest article a few months back about how important it is for each of your character names to have some sort of meaning. But when you’re trying to find a name for the waiter who gets all of two paragraphs out of 85K… sorry, that’s not writing.

3. Housework/ Laundry/ Paying Bills. Necessary evils. Not writing.

4. Making a playlist for your WIP. Finding the perfect song to go with your hero or heroine’s mood in each chapter. Fun stuff. But, again, not really writing.

5. Reading blogs about writing. Do I need to say it? Not writing.

6. Pinning characters, locations, clothes, etc. to your WIP board on Pinterest. Delightful. Still…not writing.

7. Updating all your social media accounts. Status updates about writing? Not writing. Neither are tweets that include #amwriting, #amediting, #writing, or #allIdoiswrite.

8. Reading books in or out of your genre. Call it market analysis. Call it research. Call it professional development. Can’t call it writing.

9. Organizing your writing space. I find clutter distracting so it’s worth it to me to take five minutes to tidy up whatever is in my line of sight before I sit down. But when that leads to dusting under the piano? Yeah, not writing.

10. Blogging. This one is tricky, because it is writing. However, if you haven’t made a dent in your word count for the week, then we have to call it what it is. Stalling. Not writing.

I may or may not be guilty of all ten of these. How about you? What’s your favorite form of writerly procrastination?

14 comments:

Joan said...

I struggle between blogging and writing (on my WIP). When I'm in "the zone" it's hard to find time to blog. #10 made me feel better about not blogging for two weeks while I was hard at work on my novel. And yes, I've been guilty of most of these things.

Brenda Nixon, Author and Speaker said...

#3, 5, & 7 are my vices. Sometimes I must "set" the environment to get in the mood, i.e., coffee, music, research laying about, etc.
Cute post.

Sarah Sundin said...

You know you're a writer when you procrastinate by reading articles about writers who procrastinate :)

Seriously, I'm guilty of many of these, especially #2, 3, 6, 8, and 9. When I was in college, I used to say my dorm room was never so clean as it was during finals week. And I don't like cleaning. Says a lot.

Ane Mulligan said...

Okay, I've been caught! #s 2, 7, & 9 are mine. :)

Sherry Carter said...

I write Bible studies and still I trip over many of these - except #3 I'm never tempted by housework! And, just so you know, I call # 8 research!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

I love blogs and blogging, but I'm so guilty of blogging while my manuscript sits languishing... it's a tough one for me. Glad this made you feel better!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Thanks. I agree about the mood. I write so much better if the environment is just right, but I'm having to train myself to write regardless of my surroundings...I'm not there yet!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Too funny! This made me think of another one...when you procrastinate by WRITING about writers who procrastinate. :-)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Not you, Ane! :-) I know I'm in trouble when I start wanting to do the ironing... :-)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Ah, Sherry. I do love me some research. :-) In fact, I have a stack of "research" calling my name as we speak...

Janice L. Dick said...

Too funny and too true-to-life. I've used most of these from time to time.

Lillian Humphries said...

I love this article. It is me all the way about any project I take on. After the laundry I will..... or after I check my emails, I will........ and it goes on forever. I really do want to write, but can't seem to get to the computer (that I am on now, checking my emails, etc.).

I love it. Keep these articles coming I need them.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

My problem is that I've used them all and keep adding to the list... :-)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

:-) When I start thinking about cleaning a bathroom, I know it's just gotten ridiculous :-) Time for me to get off here and get to work!