I wrote a novel last November (as part of NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month). I successfully wrote over 50,000 words in just one short month, and it was one of my proudest moments.
It may not seem like all that much, in terms of proud moments a person can experience in their life. I mean, people are usually proud when they graduate from University, get a business off the ground, raise a family, etc. To many people, typing 50,000 words in a month wouldn’t be considered anything special.
However, for me, a chronic procrastinator, it was huge. Epic. It took an absolute butt-ton (a measurement I’ve invented) of effort and focus and focus and focus and focus and focus and focus.
To get any (and I mean any) words down on paper (or more accurately, into the computer), I had to really force myself to ignore the billion possible distractions that suddenly became extremely appealing.
I had to get off Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, WordPress, various joke sites, cat blogs, and conspiracy theory pages.
I had to put my phone in another room of the house.
I had to unplug the television, and switch off the wi-fi router at the wall.
I had to focus.
And I must tell you… it sucked. It sucked big time. It sucked mega-big time. The simple act of having to give my sole attention to a task was causing me immense discomfort, and made me realise just how lazy, inattentive, and impatient the modern world has made me (and likely made us all).
Even what I’m typing right now, these words about procrastination seven months after writing the first draft of my novel, are in fact procrastination.
That’s right. I should be writing the novel right now. After writing – and subsequently reading – the first draft, it was painfully evident that the story was not finished. Not by a longshot. There is still so much more to write. And I should be writing it right now. Right now. Right this very moment.
But I’m not. Instead I’m telling you, anonymous internet reader, about procrastination. I’m sure there’s a lesson in here or something… but whatever. I don’t know. I’m gonna stop now and get back to the book.
You should do something too, you time-wasting little munchkin.
Follow your dreams or whatever.