2-4-6-8, Why do I procrastinate?

February 18, 2009

Ah, yes, my all-too-familiar clingy “friend” – procrastination – is back! Booo!

I’ve realized over the past couple of weeks that my avoidance of working on my book definitely is the symptom of something larger. It has moved from simple procrastination to outright avoidance – and that is serious. The good news is, is that I am still trying to get myself to write. It has not turned into apathy or disinterest. But I have had a distinct inability to simply sit down and do it!

Of course, there are the usual methods for avoiding – which I’ve already enumerated elsewhere.  But it has been happening enough lately, on a consistent basis, that I know Something must be happening.

I think a large part of it is fear. And strangely enough, I think it is “fear of completion.” I still have a long ways to go before I am finished, but I do feel like I am nearing the end stages – I can at last see and believe that I can get it completed.

Probably part of my fear of completion is a very real fear that I won’t know what to do after that happens. The subject of my book (which I never directly talk about here, online) is something that I have had as my “heart’s mission” for years, now. My book has been my passion, in some form, for over a decade. (It’s only over the past two years that I began writing it, however. Because it is non-fiction, the rest of the time was spent in research.) So, maybe it is like the “empty-nest” syndrome. I just simply can’t imagine my life without it.

In any case, fearful of my fear, but determined to overcome it and kick-start my writing again, I did a quick google search on the topic of “why am I afraid to finish writing my book” and found a few good articles on the subject – and they all include remedies!

Linda White Dove has some good advice about changing the parameters of your work. Kind of a “when life gives you lemons..” type of approach. I admit I don’t understand much about the rest of her website, but I did appreciate the article she had about her own struggles with staying on the writing task.

I also really liked what Earma Brown had to say. She has a lot of good tips that are down to earth, understanding, and practical.

And finally, I think I found the information at Copyblogger to be the most helpful, because he writes directly and explicitly about the different kinds of fears we can have as writers.

I’ve printed all of these articles so I can keep them handy the next time I need them. And like the rain and floods, as well as droughts, I know the seasons of writing will come, and change. The tools, tips and suggestions from these authors will help get me through, and get me writing again!

© writingreading, 2009

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