Getting There – Procrastinationville

My evil genius procrastination has whispered me to tarry ’til a more convenient season.
~Mary Todd Lincoln

So does Carolyn See really write 1,000 words a day, five days a week? Or does Stephen King really write 10 pages every single day? I’m not sure. I know they are prolific writers, but I tend to believe that there are breaks. What I call “transitions” and what poet Bernadette Mayer calls “research.” (once when we were taking a tour of a brewery in Plzen, she told me that anything that is not writing is research)

Perhaps while in the middle of a story, an edit, a brainstorm, a treatment they are going full speed. But I bet they probably have those challenging times when getting there is as difficult as it is for the rest of us.

Approaching the work has always been the most challenging point for me. It’s when I have to really force myself to stay disciplined. That discipline usually doesn’t happen right away, though. I’m most challenged when I’m approaching something new. I resist a second time when I have to edit the work. It’s less challenging with each passing edit. And even when I’m in the thick of a story, there’s still a little bit of resistance every day.

What is that? Where does that come from?

I’ve heard that perfectionism is a form of procrastination. And perhaps I fear putting something on the page because it won’t be as perfect as it is in my head. So I have to remind myself over and over again that Creation is Messy and that I need to just lay it all out there to see what I’ve got.

The challenge I’m having right now is getting into the editing of the 1st draft of The Ruins of Noe, which is the second book in my White Forest series. I wrote it over a year ago and haven’t looked at it since. I’ve been working on other projects, but now that Brigitta is being released, the time has come to face it!

I think I’m afraid to read the draft because it might suck. Lol. Perhaps it was simply a fluke that I wrote the first novel. Anyone could have that happy accident, right? I mean, how can I possibly think I could do it again. And make it better, or at least just as good.

Don’t worry, I’m going to get to the edit. I’m just acknowledging all that’s going on in my head. I can only resist for so long before I get twitchy. The odd thing is that I know, I KNOW, that as soon as I get back into it I’ll get lost inside the story, care deeply about what happens to the characters, and be taken away on a magical journey.

It’s just the getting there.


  1. meeshelleneal
    May 13, 2010

    Oh I relate SO WELL to this entry. You speak the truth sister.

  2. I find that most artists deal with this on a regular basis.

    But hey, I worked on my edit today and found I was already getting lost inside of it. I think that writing this entry actually helped me to get to it. Perhaps that’s what we need to do when up against it. Express it, then dive in.

  3. meeshelleneal
    May 14, 2010

    Yes – express and move through 🙂 Blogging is definitely helpful with that!!

  4. art predator
    May 14, 2010

    YAY! I can’t wait to read it and find out what happens next!

  5. Suma
    May 17, 2010

    Reading this post is inspiring me to get to it. Thanks for sharing, Danika.

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