Let me start by throwing it out there that I am a world class procrastinator. Believe me - if there's anything that can keep me from my task at hand, I can find it and use it to my procrastination advantage. Even when it comes to tasks that I love to do... For instance, writing. (Let's pause for a moment for the shock heard 'round the world - who ever would have thought I'd choose writing as my example?)
I was on a mayjah procrastination kick last week. I got sick, but when I got better a day later, I avoided writing. And on the next day. And the next day. And the next. Now, I'm a believer in taking a day off here and there - to let that reservoir of creative juices refill when it's been overworked. Even two days, maybe three. But more than that (for me it was an entire week) is just plain old procrastination.
I wanted to write, I really did. I love this job. But I let myself find distraction in every. single. thing. possible. A lot of it was writing related, but we all know it's not the same as actually facing the manuscript and giving those fingers a workout on the keyboard.
This past Monday, I finally forced myself out of the hazy procrastination fog. After much whining about how much I procrastinated (just another procrastination method, no?) I opened Project Jane and click by painful clack I typed a new paragraph. And then another, followed by a new page, and so on and so forth. I found my stride again, though it was a slow start. (I finally passed the 70,000 word mark - yay me!) By the time I finished typing that night, the last dregs of laziness had flown from my knuckles. I was in writing heaven. At one point I'd even, mid-sentence, come up with a completely new and awesome angle. I call that super duper writing heaven.
Then a strange thought struck me.
I loved what I'd written. Yet, I couldn't help but feel that had I attempted to write even a day earlier, I never would have written the way I had. The words would have been shaped differently; the flow would have been set to a different frequency. And most startling of all was the realization that I might never have developed the new twist.
Maybe sometimes procrastination is a good thing. Perhaps my lazy tendencies will actually pay off in the world of writing first drafts. Looking back, I realize that I might have produced a completely different story had I never procrastinated the way I have. Would I have liked it? Probably. Could it actually have been better? Possibly. But do I love, love, love the story I've written up to this point? Absolutely.
So, while I still strive to complete this draft without any further procrastinating - I no longer feel guilty about the time I've already spent doing just that.
(Of course a necessary caveat here is that this could certainly all be a severely imaginative rationalization on my part - a subconscious effort to allow myself to think that procrastination is okay... So take my words in at your own peril, haha.)