I am a procrastinator. There, I admit it.
I am awesome at ideas, terrible at execution. Particularly when those ideas are near and dear to my heart. The more I want something the more I tend to procrastinate. I have heard many theories throughout my life about why I do this: fear of failure, fear of success, hardheadedness (is that a word?), a need to go against the grain, blah blah blah. Whatever it is, I will be the first to admit that it is a giant pain in the backside that tends to frustrate everyone that knows me at some point or another. Fastest way to get me to cringe: use the word “potential” – I shudder as I type it.
This charming quirk of mine has left me in many a tedious rut throughout my life and often finds me, head in the clouds, daydreaming of the shiny land of what-if.
The shiny land of what ifs is fabulous at creating a stories, but dreadful at sitting down to edit for the second draft. And yeah, sure, I could give you many (many) excuses as to why I haven’t completed my second draft but the hard truth is I simply haven’t done it. Bad me.
But lately, as a result of my company being sold, the good ole’ what do I want to be when I grow up conversation that we all have with ourselves at some point when we realize that what we are currently doing is a deadend has been doing a manic cha-cha in my head. The cha-cha danced to the rhythm of “oh my god, I am not going to have a job, what am I going to do.”
And since I am a procrastinator and hate making plans I did nothing. Shrugged my shoulders and decided to see where the cards fell. I would deal with it all tomorrow, while biting my nails to the quick as the uncertainty of it all made me twitchy crazy. And let me tell you folks, this is not the most healthy of ways of dealing with uncertainty. It does however create a certain level of cavalier-ness that is borderline nihilistic. That self-destruct button has looked mighty good at times. Corporate rat race be damned – cue evil laughter.
And now, almost a year later, as I find myself on a weird limbo of an integration team I have come to realize that I actually pretty lucky. Weird limbo means i have time to explore. Time to figure things out. Time to WRITE THE DAMN SECOND DRAFT. All while I am still being paid a salary.
Realizing this, however, did not make me more productive. And the lack of productivity added to my stress. Sneaky should-a-could-a-wouldas decided to join the dance party. Joy.
But here is the curious thing, this morning I woke up and my first thought for some reason was “The hell with it, I am gonna finish my book” and so I wrote a quick list of writing goals that I want to accomplish by October 1. I took a picture of it and sent it to my friend S with a quick note for her to please ask me about these things along the way so that I could stay on task. And this is the point, folks, where I failed to remember that S is an accountant because she replied with a request for estimated/budget hours until completion so she would have an ballpark idea of time to allocate towards the completion of task 1 so we could create a percentage of completion report (yeah, it all sounded like Greek to me as well).
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, (I laughed). And strangely enough I sat down and did what she told me to do. All of a sudden the giant how the hell am I going to complete this second draft dilemma that I have had for the last six months vanished. And I spent 4 hours organizing the backstory that I need in order to move forward. It seems all I needed was an accountant to break it down into feasible chunks which didn’t overwhelm me. She also bribed me with wine.
YOU’D THINK I COULD HAVE FIGURED THIS OUT ON MY OWN.
Oh well, I now have a plan. And a taskmaster.
Yes, this is me, shaking my head at the crazy things I do to get my book written.