For a few days last week, I pretty much shut out the world and got lost in my own little world of writing. I wrote two blog posts, started one new chapter, and revised three previously written chapters. So, it wasn’t like I procrastinated. And finishing anything that leaves one with the sense of accomplishment that a finely crafted scene, or chapter, or conversation does should stoke these fires of productivity. Right?
Not me. I failed to mention that all of that writing was binge writing – three, eight hour days of ignoring my family, the phone, the cat, friends. You get the picture.
The days I wasn’t writing, I truly was living life. I took my girls to the beach, finished that backpack from a previous post, read a book for a future review post, and did online research on sewing, writing, and teaching British Literature (prep for work in a month).
But all of that’s procrastinating, right? I’m not sitting in front of my computer, trying to force a story line that just isn’t willing to unfold. I’m not committing an hour or more a day to writing anything just to get the creative juices flowing, to get in the zone, hoping that something workable will come from my dedication to “type just to have the feeling of keys under my fingertips.”
And forget longhand. For those of you brought up in the age of texting, longhand is pen to paper writing, usually in cursive for those of us who were taught the beauty of it. Longhand has its place in writing. For me, it’s outlining or jotting down those 11:30 ideas that won’t let you go to sleep.
But back to my point – procrastination. Is it all bad? Or can those down moments when we are scolding ourselves for not being in front of the computer working, but rather living and enjoying life, give us the respite we need when our story demands our attention at all costs?
I’d like to think it’s a balance that each of us has to decide which is more weighty: being truly dedicated or learning from the world around us?