Saturday, July 12, 2008

Procrastination...

I am always on time, usually early. I never miss a deadline on my articles.

If I'm supposed to call someone at a certain hour or meet someone at a certain date, I am there.

But when it comes to doing stuff for myself? Fuhgedaboutid.

Time for my short story? Nope, the house needs cleaning.

Time to write a poem? Sorry, have to make a phone call.

Time to work on my article? Oh yes, the editor wants that!

Time to get serious about dieting? I'll do it tomorrow when I have a moment to research it.

Time to do something for the Board I am on? You name it, I'm your lady.

Time to work on your novel? Later, when the sun sets and its cooler...

Any excuse will do, it seems. Time apparently is my number one nemeses.

I have made any number of efforts to tackle my personal projects. Most that I fail at are long-term initiatives, like losing weight and writing anything longer than an article.

I lack a stick-to-it-ness that evades me.

About four weeks ago I received my weekly Marketing Minute newsletter from Marcia Yudkin. She runs a marketing website and apparently works 24/7 on her business.

I am no marketing genius but figure it's something I ought to know, being a writer and all. I read the newsletter looking for ideas that might apply to what I do, which is write little articles for local publications.

Four week ago, Yudkin offered a 10-week weekly email course in procrastination for $20.

On impulse, I signed up for it at about 6 a.m. one Friday morning.

The result has been a series of emails urging me to examine my work habits and figure out what is holding me back.

It took me nearly six days to open the first email. It sat in my box, pulsing and growing larger and larger in my mind until I finally clicked on it. I was putting it off, you understand...

Subsequent emails have lain in my in-box for several days, although not as long as that first one. This behavior alone tells me something. There is something there I am not dealing with, some fear of doing something for myself that keeps me from moving forward.

Don't know what it is yet, but maybe by Week 10 I'll have figured it out.

The email course also comes with unexpected boosters about the middle of the week. This has been helpful, too. Reminders to think about why I procrastinate.

I have never met Marcia Yudkin, who is sending me these prompts. She wrote a book in 1988 called Freelance Writing for Magazines and Newspapers: Breaking In Without Selling Out which I still have. I found it useful at the time. I daresay it's outdated these days, what with the Internet and all, but the basic tenets remain true.

Later when I ran across her name and website somewhere, I remembered the book. Quite a number of years ago I subscribed to her free marketing newsletter.

She finally snagged me again, I guess.

She's published a number of books and on the surface, anyway, appears to have a thriving business. She's into something I'm not really interested in, which is PR, but it's still writing.

Whatever she does, I bet she doesn't procrastinate.

1 comment:

  1. It's so hard to get motivated when no one is expecting anything from the task but you! I'm good at doing the same thing. It sometimes takes me two weeks just to motivate myself to make a haircut appt. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

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