Procrastination has been affecting my life since I can remember. Fortunately, these last couple of years, I’ve been suffering less of it or else I would’ve never achieved a novel’s first draft (it should be treated as an illness!). But I haven’t gone over it yet. I might now put a daily effort on my writer goals, but it’s not enough yet.
The one to blame, the Internet.
I could use the computer and disconnect, but I depend heavily on thesaurus.com I could get a physical copy, but certainly working with the website allows me to easily navigate from word to word’s synonyms and definitions in a matter of seconds, without losing the inspiration or the sentence idea that troubles my mind at that point. I’ve tried using printed copies of dictionaries and thesaurus, but they’re not meant to be used on every single minute. And yes, I still use it a lot. Especially, since English is not my first language, many times I just want to make sure I got the correct definition and that the synonym I’m choosing to use is accurate.
So if thesaurus.com wasn’t such a good tool and as dependent on internet connectivity as it is, I would probably disconnect from Wi-Fi. But if this website helps my writing, what is the real problem?
My mind is used to multi-tasking. As a result, thoughts, ideas, and hyperactivity flood my brain almost 24/7 (If mental hyperactivity could be translated into physical hyperactivity… I would be the best athlete in the world… but that’s another topic). My mind doesn’t really switch off until I go to bed. And sometimes, I find trouble sleeping trying to unplug my mind from its endless ideas, worries, etc. So while writing, it’s normal for me to get distracted by other websites; afraid (maybe an excuse word) that I will forget later what I wanted to buy in Ebay, that I will miss what’s going on Facebook, and that there are still tips, blogs, and websites I should be looking at for my next trip (in 2 weeks – Tripadvisor, I’m looking at you!), I open the browser and proceed to search, look, and verify other issues while in the middle of writing.
The result: guilt invading me at around 10:00 pm when my eyes are starting to feel the burden of the day and I have to choose between:
- Giving up and going to bed
- Continue the writing until almost midnight or until my eyes are hyper red. The direct consequence: I cannot invest any more reading time in bed if I want to give my eyes a proper resting (after all, I spend the whole day in front of the computer)
Maybe I’m too anxious for vacations these days, and I cannot move forward without taking out of my mind all the issues that should be arranged or known before traveling. Maybe after my holidays, my mind will be clear enough to continue working. But who am I kidding? There will always be a next trip, a next activity, or a next excuse. If I’m going to take the writing career for good, then I’d better eliminate the word Procrastination from my vocabulary. Any advice?
4 thoughts on “When old habits are hard to abandon… I’m looking at you Procrastination!”
I use the online dictionary and thesaurus too. My only physical copies of both are paperbacks, and because I have only the one hand that works, maneuvering the paperbacks is so difficult. Besides, I’m sure you’re aware of how small the print is in those paperbacks too. To psychologically avoid traveling elsewhere on the internet, I have links to both the dictionary and the thesaurus on my PC desktop. I minimize them to the taskbar when not in use. I designate internet time for blog reading, emails, and Twitter (don’t like Facebook) on a daily basis. I, also, have scheduled times for unplugging from the computer all together. When dinnertime hits, I have three hours away from the contraption and I spend “quality” time with my spouse (kind of seeing we usually watch TV). My times for each activity are flexible though. I think it’s this resilience that keeps everything going because the routine doesn’t get stale.
Having direct links from the desktop to the dictionary and thesaurus are a great idea! I’m definitely going to copy that 🙂 That’s what I love of blogging, that I have the opportunity to share tips, ideas, and general advice with other people in similar situations 🙂 If I didn’t have this community of bloggers, I think I would feel quite alone, in my own universe, surrounded by non-writer friends. Yesterday, after I wrote this blog, I arrived home and did a very good job with my “writing time”, perhaps the self-reflection done to write this post awoke me in some way, let’s hope it lasts 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!