3 Things I Need to STOP DOING So I Can Write Already!

I procrastinate.

There. I said it.

Usually I can pull out of my procrastination haze and complete whatever task I’m avoiding in just under the wire. It’s the fear of consequences that gets me to the finish line on time. If I don’t do my job, I’ll be looking for a new one. If I don’t get the house in order, I’ll have the wrath of the Mrs. to deal with. See where I’m going? Fear is a powerful motivator for me.

I can’t say the same about writing. I have no deadlines other than my own. If I don’t meet them, then I change them. Not done by Friday? What’s another week. Less than a thousand words written today? Five hundred will do, right? Sure I’m left with guilt, but it doesn’t have the same effect as fear. I’m going to continue to work on it. In the mean time, let me clue you in on some of the bad things I should be cutting out:

1. INTERNET

I have to echo The Amys here. This is the number one time-suck to my writing time. It always stars out innocent enough. Check an email. May write one (that counts as writing, right? Didn’t think so.)

Look in on Facebook. Click a link. Then another. Next thing I know, I’m dosed with some cyber goodness such as the like of the Burrito Bison, The Annoying Orange, and Phil in the Whaaat? For those of you who clicked the links, you’re welcome… or sorry, as the case may be.

*For full disclosure, I spent more than a half hour playing on those sites just now, getting their URL. Stupid internet goodness.

2. Cleaning House

Sound odd? Well, when I’m in need of a good excuse not to write, I suddenly find the state of my house unacceptable. Dusting, mopping, dishes and laundry take immediate priority. And for those of you who don’t know me, I hate each and every one of those activities. Yet somehow at times, they seem like a better idea than tackling that difficult plot, character or setting. My wife might string me up, but I must cut out the cleaning.

3. Be Selfish, Not Selfless

This is the hardest one for me. I want to put everyone else before me. I want the best for my family, and I want to be the one to do it for them. My wife and I have a good balance in that regards. It took us several years to get it right, and there might be a hiccup now and again, but we make it work. My problem is crumbling for my kids. How can I resist when my two-year-old pats the ground next to her and says, “Come on Daddy. Sit. Sit.” Answer: I can’t. And do I just ignore when my son brings wild snakes he’s caught into the house? Answer: A resounding NO!

I’m getting better, I limit my time on the internet. I barely touch it on the weekends, and house cleaning is limited to designated days. Eventually I’ll be able to sneak away more for myself. As the kids get older, they’re less entertained by Dad. That’ll hit harder one day, but for now it’s a small light at what feels like a very long tunnel.

What do you need to avoid? Are you successful? Any and all tips are appreciated.

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