I don’t like that moment in job interviews when the interviewer asks you about your talents or skills. I freeze and retreat into my shell muttering something about being a people-person or a good communicator. I’ve never felt I had any special skills or remarkable talents; I can’t speak several languages; I don’t play a musical instrument; I don’t know how to juggle. So I never know what to say at that point and try to get the subject changed as soon as possible.
However since ‘coming out’ as a writer I have discovered my special talent.
No, not the ability to create stunning characters.
No, not a talent for plotting.
No, not the ability to craft beautiful descriptive sentences.
I have a talent for procrastination. I am really good at it and can do it for days on end. All I need for a good procrastinate is a project to work on. Something like a novel that needs working on, a short story to write for a prompt, a blog posts to schedule. Give me any of those and I will procrastinate for England.
It is amazing what I can find to do rather than sit down and write. There are lots of things to move from one place to another – not put away of course, just moved. Then later they can be moved back to their original spot. There is always a loud of laundry to be put on and supervised – not watched obsessively of course, just listened to from the sofa and gently monitored. There are endless cups of tea to be made – not drunk of course, just made and left to go cold on the table. There are daytime TV programmes to be sneered at – not watched of course, just monitored from the sofa with a cup of tea cooling in front of me. You see, I really have this talent nailed!
So why do I procrastinate so much when there is writing to be done? I think it’s because I
I’m still not convinced that I am a writer. And I’m certainly not convinced that I’m any good at it. So I put it off and avoid it in case I should be found out as a fraud. If only I possessed that Protestant work ethic tat I remember reading about – you know, the one that just gets stuff done by knuckling down and working hard. I know I can when I have to but the truth is, most of the time I don’t really have to. Nobody will die or starve if I don’t. And with superb irony I’ve just stopped writing this post to play a game on my tablet!
I’m sure I get more done if I have a deadline to meet. Sadly I’m not at that point in my writing career to have major publishing houses setting a deadline for my next best seller so any deadline I have tends to be an I guess what I need to do is find deadlines for myself like committing to writing for a set submission date. But again there is the chance to procrastinate and miss that submission date with no real consequences. Maybe I have to embrace the procrastinating part of me and get on with it as best I can.
Any ideas how I can overcome my talent for procrastination?