This is a guest post from Jimmetta Carpenter of Write-2-Be.com
Procrastination is a consistent problem for writers everywhere; particularly when you are starting out and still trying to establish a name for yourself.
We tend to blame time as our ultimate enemy; there just never seems to be enough of it. We arrange our schedules and rearrange them over and over again, trying to fit in the family, the friends, and all of the writing that needs to be done, but there are times when nothing works.
Perhaps our procrastination is not solely because there are not enough hours in the day.
What really lies behind why we spend so much more of our time planning things to do rather than actually doing them?
The Underlying Issues That Cause Procrastination
Oftentimes the effects of our personal lives sink into our work habits and it throws us off a bit. We mistake stress, grief, intimidation or even depression for procrastination.
For the better part of last year, I had been stressed, intimidated by the craft itself, and in large part, depressed. I excused my lack of productivity as me not having the time or even me being blocked.
What was really happening with me was that I was so scared that my work wouldn’t be good enough and that there were too many writers out there that were better than me. All of that, coupled with the stress of life and the struggles I had been dealing with, mostly revolving around lack of money, had sent me into a deep depression.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know I was depressed and that was the reason I wasn’t writing and producing work like I should be. It was that I hadn’t addressed my depression, which stemmed from my stress and my intimidation, and I didn’t understand that this was the reason why I was continually procrastinating.
Sometimes procrastination is really about not managing your time well or even about just not finding the right idea. However, there are times when our procrastination is truly about something much deeper than that, and something that we most likely do not want to force ourselves to address.
But we have to. We have to face the depth of our issues so that we can get back to thriving in our writing.
Here are four steps that you can take right now to move past your procrastination:
1. Identify the Underlying Issue
Whether the issue behind your procrastination is stress, intimidation or even depression (or something else), you have to admit to the way you are feeling and pinpoint what is truly the reason that you aren’t producing the way you want to.
Doing this allows you to face the reality of your situation. Once you face it, then you can fix it.
2. Identify the Reason for the Underlying Issue
Once you have acknowledged the issue, for instance, depression, then you have to analyze why you are feeling that way. What has happened that has brought you to that point?
You can’t get past the problem if you have not yet identified why you are feeling that way.
3. Make a Plan of Attack For Dealing With The Issue
Now that you are beginning to understand why you are procrastinating to begin with, what are you going to do about it?
If you are depressed, what do you plan on doing about the depression you are feeling? If you are intimidated by your craft, why is that? What do you plan on doing about that intimidation? If you are stressed, how do you plan on eliminating your stress so that you can move forward with your work?
4. Implement Your Plan and Take Action
Whatever way you plan on getting past your underlying issue, there’s no better time to put that plan into action than right now. You’ve already wasted enough time and there’s no need to waste any more.
Even taking small steps can add up to big results in a short amount of time.
How do you deal with the underlying issues that cause you to procrastinate?
About the Author: Jimmetta Carpenter was born and raised in the Prince George’s County Maryland and has had a very big imagination since a very early age. She has been writing poetry since she was in elementary school around the age of ten. Her love of words has allowed her to express herself in ways in which verbally she can not. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and the author of a collection of poetry, The Art of Love under the Pseudonym Gemini, and a novel titled The Diary: Succession of Lies under the Pseudonym Jaycee Durant. She is looking forward to producing two new online magazines, Write 2 Be, and Write 2 Be*Kids, in 2013 under the Write 2 Be Media Co. umbrella. You can read more of her work at http://write-2-be.com/.