I saw an awesome image by Zachary Petit about all the crazy distractions we writers delve into once we actually put that BIC (“butt in chair”). Head on over to view the infographic and see where you fall, after reading and commenting here, of course.
The graphic is amusing to most of us because it is something we can relate to. This got me to thinking: Why do we procrastinate so much as writers. We LOVE our craft and we love everything about the writing world. So what about it makes us get distracted?
To start, writing is tough work. We love it, but it is hard – even for those of us who are quite gifted in this area. It can take a while to get your brain working, which probably explains the massive amounts of caffeine we find irresistible.
Then there’s the writer’s block. No matter what we do, we’ve hit a wall. Really, the best thing we can do is to keep writing. Add another word. Take it one word at a time. Often though we tend to allow the distractions to enter: “I’ll just take a small break while I check my e-mail, roam Facebook, tweet how horrible writer’s block is…”
But there may be a glimmer of hope to us procrastinating writers. For some, the distractions aid in the thought process. How many times has a plot twist or story idea hit you while you’re doing the dishes or taking a shower? How many times while playing a game with your child have you thought, “You know, if this happened and then that happened, I’d have a great picture book!” How many times after googling about writing did you find one sentence that inspired you? This blog post alone was inspired by an image someone posted on Facebook. Something stirred in me and I dropped everything to get the post in. (Being a mom too, I had to pause here and there to feed the kids, but it got done. )
So, maybe there is a method to this madness and that is why we not only are able to laugh at ourselves, but also embrace our distracting habits.
Now, stop procrastinating and get back to work!