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Productively Procrastinate

Writing novels is my dream job, but it’s not my current job. But even though this is the thing I want more than just about anything else, doesn’t mean it is always on the table for the day. Many people work at jobs they enjoy, many people love being parents, or they love their spouse, or their hobby, but that doesn’t correspond to 100 % of the time desire to engage with the activity in question.


AKA. We all need a break.

I have said in other spaces in this blog that we should develop habits of writing that keep us moving forward no matter what adversity we face. This is the 90 percent rule. It remains absolutely true. No writer will ever finish their work to the level they want or need without habits and determination, but that doesn’t mean we need to be 100 % perfect.

Enter, productive procrastination.

Writing is one aspect of being a writer. There are others. From the writing perspective we have brainstorming, character creation, architecting stories, worldbuilding, plot outlines, and many more. Maybe even multiple stories to keep the energy high for the two independent projects. From writing adjacent activities we have reading, building a digital presence, submitting completed work for publication. From writing tertiary activities, we can go exercise, which is excellent and clinical evidence shows it gets creative thoughts going.

Just because you are not writing, doesn’t mean you can’t be productive toward your writing. When the day comes, which for everyone it inevitably does, that you can not write that great novel today, pick from the list above. If you know how you write or how you engage with your writing you are already primed to productively procrastinate and get things done that need doing, just not the writing you should be doing right now.

This is not an excuse to do this day after day, but have a little forgiveness for yourself. Nobody can be on point all the time. Life will happen, and you will miss writing sessions in favor of other activities. So long as the habit is not broken, and the day feels strange because you didn’t write, you will be ok. A lot of things need to be done.

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