More on Procrastination

January 20th, 2010

I’ve discovered again the power of the written word. I finished a book that was on my reading list called “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. One powerful gem of insight therein was the notion that creative people are most likely to procrastinate because it is their imagination that inclines them to see all kinds of off-putting negative outcomes. So it seems the deck is well and truly stacked against writers!

It’s over a year ago now since I wrote a post about procrastination. That post might have seemed a bit macabre, flippant, or even comic, but like most things macabre or flippant or comic it disguises something more serious, namely fear.

I know from personal analysis of my own procrastination that fear is the root cause of it. It’s not fear of work. No. For after all, why would anyone fear to do work that would bring them success? There’s the rub, and the essence of what I meant in my previous post on procrastination. We do not fear to do the work that would be successful, but we fear to do the work that will make us a failure, that will get us ridiculed, or in my case, my greatest fear is work that is simply … wasted. No one in their right mind would want to do that kind of work, would they? So we delay. We avoid. And then the fear becomes self-fulfilling, because by avoiding the work we fail for certain.

I can content myself that I pushed through that, wrote a competent thriller, attracted the interests of two different agents, and learned of the strengths and possible weaknesses of my work. But I didn’t push through, against my fear of waste, just to have it sit in a drawer forever. I honestly believe (as do others) that it is worth publishing.

A period of reflection, based upon the last rejection feedback, has left me considering some other edits that I’m now incorporating into a final draft. I’m making it as best I can, but I’m starting to get concerned that the edits might lose some of the spirit of the story. So I’m going to have to stop revising after this. This brings matters to a head. If no agent wants to take it on. If I can’t revise to make it more attractive to an agent then I’ve to live up to my threatened promise of taking it on myself. So at least all this effort won’t be wasted. But before taking that road, I’ve one last chance. While finishing this edit, I’ve one last agent to pitch to…

Entry Filed under: Submission & Rejection,Writing

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