A2Z-Logo-C1Hello, my name is Ruth, and I’m a procrastinator. There, I said it. I’ve admitted it. Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward dealing with that problem, right? Except that I’ve never been particularly shy about admitting this particular problem, and that has never done anything at all to actually help me deal with it. If anything, it’s getting worse, especially when it comes to my writing. I actually accomplished more at once when I was teaching and writing time was scarce than I do now that I’m home and actually have time. It’s beyond frustrating.

I’ve mentioned it once or twice in other writing/story forums and basically got told to stop whining and get busy, that far too many people wish they had the time I have. I get that. I was in that place once myself. The trouble is, I don’t have any idea how to make myself get busy.

It’s not a lack of ideas. The fact that I have five current works in progress is proof enough of that. (There are a couple more rattling around in my head too; I just refuse to let myself write down anything else until I actually finished something.) This isn’t a new phenomenon. Playing with Fire took me five years, give or take, to finish, working on and off around work and graduate school and the deaths of several close family members. I did finish it so there is proof that I can, which is basically why I wrote that book in the first place. Theoretically at least, I can do it again, if I can ever figure out a way to get myself motivated and stop procrastinating.

I’ve done more goalsetting and fear conquering and time management books and lessons than you can shake a stick at. From that (and mostly from a really good novel), I figured out that at least part of the problem is that I’m a perfectionist. If I never finish anything, I don’t have to worry about it not being good enough. (Yes, I’m perfectly aware this is not a rational, logical belief.) The trouble is finding ways to trick my brain into doing it anyway.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-perfection-enemy-progress-saying-quote-bulletin-board-words-pieces-paper-pinned-to-to-illustrate-you-image39264952

It’s not always like this. I have productive days that go on sometimes into productive weeks. I don’t write nearly as much at once as some people do, but if I’m writing, particularly every day at a stretch, that’s an accomplishment. It would be even more so if I could find a way to do it on a fairly regular basis. I haven’t yet found a system or a structure or a routine that I can manage to follow for more than week at a time. I want to write, but it seems like I’m very good at finding anything in the world to do except write. I could probably written this entire blog in the time I spent putting it off and looking for pictures to go with it.

I have a feeling – or maybe it’s just a hope – that I’m not the only person who struggles with this. Can anyone else relate? I welcome any thoughts, tips, tricks, whatever.