Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder. —Mason Cooley
I’ve said before that there are seasons in writing as there are in gardening. In spring, we start poking at the ground, imagining what we might plant in a particular sunny patch. At the beginning of summer, we plant and water and weed and watch as things begin to grow. In fall, we harvest, we take what is usable from the garden—the flowers and vegetables. In winter, we put the garden to bed, add nutrients that will help it rest and recover for the next year.
The writing “seasons” are ideas and planning, drafting, editing, and filling the well. For any project, these seasons might be short or long, but we usually have to pass through all four. Right now, I’m about to head into a drafting season...and I have to admit that I’ve been procrastinating. Last week, I wrote about how I’ve been working on short stories (which I love), but the truth is that this is partially a procrastination technique to help me feel better about finishing something before I head into the heavy lifting of drafting a novel.
I always feel intimidated at the start of a draft because I know the concentrated effort it takes. Then again, the book isn’t going to write itself. The only way to get to the end is to start at the beginning and go all the way through the middle. It’s hard work, but it’s also exciting and gratifying. Like summer in the garden, the draft is when you watch things grow and begin to flower, and then to fruit. When I write in Bookflow, I love setting a goal and watching the circle close as I pile up scenes. And when I get that gold star for finishing? Best feeling ever.
This summer will be a “summer” writing season for me. I’ll be taking part in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo challenge, making as much progress as possible on my latest novel. Then, this fall, I can enjoy editing and revising (my favorite part of the process).
Sometimes, you just have to knuckle down and get to work. It’s time for me to stop procrastinating. As Jodi Picoult said, "You can’t edit a blank page."