Understanding Your Own Special Form of Procrastination

You know that moment when you think about sitting down to write, but you find yourself doing the dishes instead? Or cleaning the bathroom? Or brushing the dog? (That's a big one for me, especially during spring and fall. She has this crazy undercoat that comes out in clumps. It's like she's molting! I can't resist.) A friend of mine compares these stall tactics to the way a dog circles the bed before lying down. I LOVE that analogy. Except for when you never actually get comfy and write. When procrastination becomes a pattern or a habit, it's time for a little self-examination. What are you avoiding? What's getting you off track?

One way to do this is to write about your procrastination. The old fashioned kind of writing---by hand. Pen and paper. Keep the pen moving. Don't edit or judge what you write. Start by describing what you do with real detail. What are your vices? Follow your pen until it leads you to a place of understanding. Once you get into the flow, give yourself a prompt.

"I procrastinate because..."

"I don't write my book because..."

Don't take the first answer. See if you can get some clarity on what lies underneath your procrastination. It's the only way to find true freedom.