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Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Proof of the Pudding...

For months, I’ve been keeping daily records of my time usage, entering the start and stop times of each task as I undertake it.  At the end of each month, I add up the times for each type of work and produce a pie chart showing the percentages spent on each. It’s been a singularly informative and productive process.

For July through September, I failed to do this for all sorts of reasons (read ‘excuses’). The result?

Well, I’ve done a lot less actual writing. I’ve probably spent a great deal more time on social networks and other ancillary stuff and a number of domestic and personal issues have eaten up my time. But I come back to the bottom line: I’m a writer, and I’ve done a lot less writing during the period I’ve neglected my time record. So, from October, I will reinstate it.

Why am I telling you this? Most writers suffer from the plague of procrastination. We find all sorts of reasons why we shouldn’t be writing, some of them actually legitimate. Most of the things that stop us writing, however, are inessential. It’s an oddity of the craft that many of us do this, even though most of us actually enjoy the creative process of writing.

And the reason we avoid spending time in creating written works? It’s tiring, demanding, hard. And most of us are lazy. Yes, I hear you: ‘Speak for yourself!’, but I’m addressing those writers who allow procrastination to rule their lives.

Have a real, honest, look at what you spend your time doing and then ask yourself: ‘What do I want to do? What’s most important to me?’ If it isn’t writing, then you might just be in the wrong job.

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