Is Procrastination Part Of Being A Good Writer?

Every writer I know does it – procrastination, that is.

In fact, just preparing to write this article, I’ve hopped over to Facebook, watched a baby elephant video, looked at Instagram, checked email, come back to this article, bopped back to the Internet to catch up on celebrity gossip…embarrassingly, the list goes on.

Even housework looks good when I have a deadline. And I know I’m not alone.

Funny thing is, I actually LOVE writing when I sit down and do it. I can get lost playing with different word combinations to share my thoughts.

The problem is making myself sit down to do it!

I don’t believe most writers are inherently lazy. We actually WANT to meet that deadline. We WANT the writing to be over.

But creation can be so taxing. The words are all there for the taking, but assembly is required. Because are infinite word combos to make.

Now I don’t know exactly why, but writers aren’t “normal” people when it comes to time management. We tend to have a different experience with concept of time than “civilians.”

See writers are used to a lot more freedom and flexibility. We like that. It’s one of the perks of being a writer.

A lot of our writing is done in our heads while taking a walk or a shower. (My favorite time to write is when I’m taking a nap.) That’s time that can’t be accounted for to a non-writer. They don’t get it.

The problem is, it’s easy to let the free time expand until there’s no more room for expansion.

Not surprisingly, the deadline is suddenly in our faces.

So we freak out. We get stress headaches. We pop antacids. 

And finally (most of us) get ‘er done, and meet the deadline. But not without putting ourselves through a lot of unnecessary pain.

It’s kind of silly when you think about. Yet writers will do it over and over and over again.

Here’s my theory about WHY procrastination seems to go hand-in-hand with writing.

Writers procrastinate partially because of Imposter Syndrome.

In other words, we’re terrified deep down that maybe we’re frauds. Maybe we really suck at writing. Maybe we’re not “special” or “gifted.”

The fear of failure can be so strong that it’s just easier to put off that deadline until the last minute.

And sometimes THEY’RE RIGHT. They aren’t as good as they think or hope they are.

Maybe they got lucky with a successful campaign out of the gate, or sent an email with double digit conversions.

But can they sustain that success? That’s what a lot of writers secretly wonder. And so they put off writing a potential bomb. 

The best way to battle the Imposter Syndrome is to hone your chops with top-dog training.