Procrastination…It’s Making Me Late

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Sep• 23•13

Running Late 0045

It’s time I confessed…I’m late getting my second book to print.

My original plan was to have it in my hand for San Diego Comic-Con so I could promote it, but I had “distractions” like two kids graduating at the same time (middle school and high school), one of these kids having an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, and adopting two kittens all in the span of two weeks. So, yeah, just a bit preoccupied with real life stuff.

So while my web site crowed that the book was coming “Summer 2013” the reality is I didn’t make it. I updated the site to read “Fall 2013” but I may even miss that deadline. And I really only have myself to blame. Self-publishing help columns say don’t let distractions happen, the problem is at this stage in my life everything is a distraction. My kids are important and they needed me for their transition into high school and college, the kittens obviously needed me to be caretaker, bad habit breaker (STOP CLAWING ON MY COUCH!), and referee for when they interacted with my older, grouchier cat. I’m still entangled in an on-going, frustrating, messy divorce (2 years now) and my financial security is always up in the air.

Yeah, distractions. Not exactly things I can ignore at the moment.

The other excuse, and I realize these are excuses, is that I have not been inspired. I’ve been editing the manuscript but there is still a “hole” that needs to be filled between two sections of the story. I know what I want but writing-wise I haven’t been able to get there when I sit down at the computer. It doesn’t feel “right” and I hate everything I write. Very frustrating.

Let me take a moment to call BS on all those “helpful” writers who think they “know” the best way to approach writing. The only method is the one that works for YOU; it might be similar but will never be the same as another writer. The great Robert A. Heinlein once advised not to “birth” your story prematurely, to make sure it was fully formed before sending it out into the world. And the only person who knows when the time is right is you the author.

For me to add artificial deadlines for my creation is more hurtful than helpful. I know in my heart that the story is not ready and I have things to fix before releasing it into the readers’ hands. Of course I run the risk that the entire story is manure and I’m just turning the compost heap, not really doing anything helpful. But I’m willing to take that risk, it’s my story and I’ll tell it in my way.

Fast does not equal good. Earlier this year at a local convention I shared a table with a parody writer who was bragging about “knocking out a book in a weekend.” Well fine and dandy since someone else did all the hard work of creating the story that they were parodying. Their only other works were analysis of the books by the original writer, so basically this author had never, ever, written a creative work from scratch with original characters and plot lines. Totally and completely different from what I was trying to achieve and yet I was not working fast enough in their opinion. Yeah.

Suffice it to say I’m plodding along, the book will be done eventually, and hopefully my readers will enjoy it.

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