The Power of Procrastination

I’ve always been a believer in the power of procrastination. It can be a writer’s best friend. If you are truly committed to your story, putting things off is not necessarily the worst thing you could do. As long as you are thinking about your story all the time, and completing the required number of pages every day, waiting as long as possible before writing those pages may be a good thing.

I believe that when we invest so much of ourselves in a story that it consumes our every waking thought, the subconscious starts to take over. When we are not actively thinking about it, the subconscious continues working out problems and essential details. The more time the subconscious has to work on things, the clearer the results will be.

My favorite ways of procrastinating are walking and sleeping. Taking long walks is a meditative experience. While the exercise raises your heart rate, your legs are the only part of your body working and in need of more oxygen. The leftover extra oxygen that is produced then goes to your brain and you end up thinking more clearly than usual. Many a story problem can be solved with a leisurely walk. In any given day, I actually spend more time walking that writing. But when I do sit down to write, I always know what to say, because it’s been in my mind for hours.

You should never procrastinate to the point where you don’t get any work done. Set a deadline and make sure you write the required number of pages every day so you meet that deadline. But don’t worry that waiting as long as possible before putting the words on the page is going to hurt your writing. Take your time and meet your deadlines. It will all work out.