Procrastination at Its Best

Why do I do the things I don’t want to do and I don’t do the things I want to do? Those paraphrased words of a wise man named Paul never applied to my life better than now. I have about a quarter of a manuscript sitting on my computer waiting for my attention. I have a completed family devotional manuscript waiting to be shopped around to publishers. I have prompts from my writing group and a dozen other potential writing projects. I think about writing a lot, but I do very little actual writing. If I manage a blog post or two a week, I consider myself to be in some semblance a writer, but it isn’t really the only thing I want to be doing. I want to lose 8 pounds before Christmas. But I curl up on the couch to eat brownies when I should be exercising.

What is it about human nature that makes us want to ignore the things that matter most? Is it the fear of making a mistake, the desire to avoid hard work (even if it’s hard work we enjoy), or the avoidance of decision making? I think that for me it is often all of the above. I desperately want to write but it is hard work. (At the moment I also have my toddler throwing things at the keyboard and adding her own keystrokes because I am typing instead of paying attention to her). I also know that my writing may never really be good enough. Being a perfectionist can be the curse of creativity. I spend more time complaining about my writing than writing. I can never decide when to write or what project to work on. It always seems easier to do something concrete like knit my daughter a much needed winter wardrobe item, do dishes or bake bread. These are all measurable tasks that have a clear ends in sight. I can write for an hour and feel like I have nothing to show for it. It may all come to nothing. Yet I claim to want to devote my life to this vocation.  It takes me so long to screw up my courage to finally sit down and write that suddenly there is no time left. My daughter is awake from her nap, it’s time for bed, or I am interrupted by another load of finished laundry to be moved to the dryer. I’ve even procrastinated about ending this post and finally publishing it on my blog. Well, never mind, I’ll think about that tomorrow. (Do you see what I mean?)

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