Procrastination turns me into a drifter in my own house. Wandering through the kitchen. Making tea. Sighing. Scratching that sweet spot behind my dog’s floppy ear. When all my interviews are completed and my research is done, it’s the actual writing of the thing that can leave me staring into space.
I’ve learned to beat writer’s procrastination with imagination and reward. I imagine how good it will feel to have the piece done. This emotional visualization motivates me like few other things will. It’s so simple it’s almost embarrassing. Think of how bad you feel without it done. Now think about how good you will feel with it done. That’s the feeling I want, so I get to work.
And like my dog, I respond shockingly well to treats. The treat might just be a walk downtown on a sunny day, coffee with a friend, giving myself 30 minutes to read one of the three newspapers scattered across our dining room table, or sometimes it’s even a thing. The thing is never expensive. It might be $2 worth of sour jujubes in a crinkly white paper bag from the candy shop on Queen St. The one where they are starting to know me. And that’s becoming a bit uncomfortable.
Picture it done. Reward it when it is. That’s my sure-fire formula for beating writer’s procrastination.