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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Procrastination and tearing up a story

cj Sez: It's official. I’m a chronic procrastinator. My two-acre yard is about a month beyond needing mowing. So, I either have to get the tires on the lawn tractor replaced or hire a herd of goats or borrow my neighbor’s pony. (The tires are ordered but not yet delivered.)

Indigo Bunting
 I do take comfort in knowing that the honey bees are absolutely in love with the huge patch of clover in the middle of the back forty. And the indigo buntings are among the migrating birds that stop by for snacks. (The photo at right was taken in my backyard on Friday.)

Speaking of procrastination . . . I wish I could have begged, borrowed, or stolen some of Elmore Leonard’s discipline for writing.

It used to be that I worked better when I had a short-term deadline. I thought if I gave myself a deadline, I’d have the incentive to keep going. Found out that’s not true. I have managed to bury that deadline under weeks of procrastination that I called “research.” It seems that the more I research, the less creativity I have. I’m getting bogged down in facts, and the story is suffering.

My current work-in-progress is in a state of disrepair. Because I misread the instructions of a contest, I started hacking up my first chapter to make it fit into the required 1,500 words. I hacked off more than 3,000 words. The result is I like this version much, much better. Much clearer. A
quicker start into the plot line. Backstory has been relegated to its appropriate place. BUT...

That creates another, larger problem, because once I’ve written a story, it’s nigh unto impossible for me to go back and change it. I don’t mean edit it, I mean really modify it. And that’s what my current manuscript needs, now. I have to really modify the story, and the task ahead is intimidating me.

I am not, however, giving up. Last night I even made a note or two when I went to bed . . . I get a lot of good ideas just before or just after I fall asleep. Sundays are for family and etc., so I won’t be sitting in front of the computer for very long but tomorrow . . . that’s when I’ll start working hard. I suppose some of you might call that procrastination.


Nope, I’m calling it delayed discipline.

That’s all for now, but how about you? When do you get your best ideas? How do you conquer the blank page or worse, the re-do of the manuscript in front of you?

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.

cj
PS:  The photo is by Jeff D. Johnston, and the toons are Facebook fodder.
cjpetterson@gmail.com
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3 comments:

  1. Ooo, indigo buntings! You know, maybe it the season of something. I'm waaay behind on a couple of projects and am spinning my wheels.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kaye, for stopping by. I'm hoping that spring will bring an invigorating desire to get-r-done! Best of luck with locking your wheels.

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    2. Thanks, Kaye, for stopping by. I'm hoping that spring will bring an invigorating desire to get-r-done! Best of luck with locking your wheels.

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