Working Through Procrastination

I was still procrastinating by checking on my grades for my last unit of my Masters and reading the comments that had come through from my tutor, Rosie. And she repeated comments from earlier in the term – that I had started too late in the story and it was confusing.

Ok – I thought I’d fixed that but if Rosie said it again, clearly not.

Instead of going into panic, which I have done in the past when confronted by such criticism, I stopped to think about what Rosie was actually telling me. Chances are she was right. She is published after all and has been teaching for some time, she knows what she’s talking about.

And so I immediately opened a new word document and starting drafting a paragraph about the life my character had in the “real world” and her relationship with those around her. I also thought about how I could link the skills she has the “new world” with those she might already have.

The words flowed magically across the page and I produced a couple of rough pages that led me to the current start of my story. These two pages (about 500 words) will expand to around a 5000 word chapter that will set things up and introduce my character better than what I have now.

But I am not going to write that chapter now. Instead I have jumped back to the middle where I was stuck and powered through the rocky road to produce and clear and compelling story (I hope). I did this in a similar way to redrafting my beginning.

I made some dot points comparing what I had and what I needed to happen. I then spent some time rethinking my characters and what they were doing during this time and whether or not it was within character and showed any emotional growth. Then I was ready to redraft the problem chapters.

Although I also need to do this with the beginning, I will come back to that once I have finished this draft.

This process has crystallised for me the importance of having others read my work.  I will need to find myself a good editor/proof reader and consider a second beta reading group for when this draft is completed. But I don’t want to let that search way-lay me again. Focus first, particularly while I have some focus, and then work on the publishing side when it is ready.

Do you have a problem with procrastination? Share how you work around this to get your writing done.

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