The art of procrastination is important. In fact, I don’t trust any writer without a good, strong dose of the stuff. Who really wants to sit down and fully flesh out a whole story, outline, or chapter in one sitting? No one sentient. So the truly polished writer spaces this gargantuan task out among several highly-cerebral activities, each designed to grow the synapses and foster creative thought.
That’s what I tell myself, anyway.
Watch carefully and learn from a master procrastinator. The secret formula goes something like this:
7:00am: Alarm goes off
7:01am: Get annoyed enough to move hand in the alarm’s direction until you hit something that makes it stop.
7:36am: Decide that you will never set alarm again for this early and turn it off completely.
10:00am: Wake up and decide that, since Kyle has Abigail, it is a good day to write.
10:35am: Wake up again and wonder what the easiest thing to make for breakfast is.
11:00am: Wake up for REAL this time, put on whatever clothes smell the least yanky and wander towards the muffins sitting in the fridge.
11:10-12:30pm: Watch “Teenage Runaway” on Lifetime and cry at the end. Wish that your 6yo was here so that you could tell her never to run away and become a prostitute.
12:30pm: WORK TIME! Okay, now you’re ready to get down to it – to flex your creative muscle and show the world what amazing things are inside of you. You put in your flash drive to pick up on the story you are working on about the Hawaiian girl who falls in love with a spoon. This is living!!
12:35pm: Get discouraged by where this story is heading. You knew there was a reason you stopped writing it…a girl and a SPOON?!? Replace every time you wrote “spoon” with the word “Jackalope.” You like it a little better already…
1:45pm: WOW!! So far it’s going well. The Jackalope is turning into kind of a jerk, but that’s okay. You’re probably going to kill him anyway. You close out to take a small break for lunch.
6:00pm: Hmmm. Okay. So lunch turned into lunch, 4 episodes of a “Project Runway” marathon, part of a stand-up comedy show, and organizing your flash drive by its relationship to Abigail’s birthday. But now, you are REALLY ready to get down to business.
6:15pm: Pondering the wonders of the universe while standing in the open door of the freezer eating frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You are not sure where your pants are or how you lost them.
6:30pm: Imagining the worlds to be created while sitting in the bathtub and reading “The Subtle Knife.”
7:30pm: Decide that your Hawaiian-Jackalope love story totally sucks and you should involve a lot more talking animals, some travel between worlds, and dust. You feverishly write, the words spilling onto the page in an ecstasy of linguistic fervor.
8:15pm: Realize that you just rewrote the book you finished reading in the tub. Wonder where your shirt is.
8:30pm: Your husband and daughter come home to the dog eating out of an empty ice cream carton and you typing the title page of your story in different fonts. You sigh loudly and complain about “Never having enough time to write.” Secretly, you are glad they came home when they did. You might’ve ACTUALLY finished this story.
Take it from me: If you truly master the art of procrastination, I promise you will become the greatest writer the world has never known.
Willow Dawn Becker is an author, voice personality, marketing maven, and entrepreneur. She co-founded Weird Little Worlds Press in 2020 despite a raging pandemic and huge personal losses. Her work can be found at Black Fox Literary Magazine and Space and Time Magazine. She lives in Utah with her family and pug-huahua, Indiana Bones.