Giselle Marks

Regency Romance and Fantasy Author

Reverse Procrastination

on October 6, 2014

reverse procratinatioon

Within the writing community the idea of procrastination being a normal obstacle writers have to get over before starting work writing every day is a general running joke. There have been many articles advising you how to enjoy your procrastination or how to avoid or contain it. Now I admit I have to get in the mood to write before I actually get down to writing fiction, but normally writing non-fiction requires no such effort, I just write. However I have always been a little amused by the idea of serious procrastination and was grateful that I enjoyed writing and that it was the most important thing in my day.

But recently I have discovered that I am a severe sufferer from a slightly different variety of the illness. For want of a better name I have called it Reverse Procrastination, the symptoms of it are very simple. You live to write, you are proud of how much writing you do each day, but you write to avoid other aspects of your life. In my case that includes house cleaning and form filling. I am not sure what your bΓͺtes noires that you want to avoid are, it could be almost anything, shopping, decorating or do it yourself you have been putting off, or even visiting family. Why you might seek to avoid an activity which other people would probably enjoy is not the point of this article. I have no medical or psychiatric training so I will put forward no theories as to why our psyches choose this method of avoidance, but I know that I and other writing friends write and thereby avoid doing things they do not want to do.

So what can you do about Reverse Procrastination if you find you are a victim of it? I think the knowledge that you are guilty of shutting out and avoiding things by writing is the first step towards a cure. I am going to make myself do some of the things I have been putting off by the simple expedient of not allowing myself to write until I have taken a few of them off my list. This will not be a permanent cure, I will become like a reformed alcoholic. I will be fighting Reverse Procrastination one day at a time for the rest of my life. I hope if you are afflicted you can find some way of living with the infection, but if not keep enjoying your writing.

10 responses to “Reverse Procrastination

  1. Like you, I have a reverse procrastination system where I do my daily chores before blogging, pestering authors and researching articles to reblog, making book covers, etc.
    My motivation?
    My wife πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    AUTHORS all your excuses have just gone out the window πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  3. geraldine says:

    Reverse procrastination? Embrace it! Especially if it involves avoiding housework. I do not desire a cure. It is NOT an affliction. It’s a God-given gift. πŸ™‚

  4. Excellent post! I often find myself doing something similar (as the dishes and laundry pile up)— why can’t we have House Elves when writing?

  5. But this isn’t procrastination. You are doing what you are supposed to–writing! You do the other stuff when it becomes necessary only. I always say that, as a writer, you have to resign yourself to undone errands: a messy house, holes in your clothes because you can’t be bothered to go to the store, and turning down social engagements. (I’m still in my running clothes and sometimes I forget to eat. Need to write.)

  6. Ali Isaac says:

    Yes! I definitely do this! I am so glad you have brought it out into the open. Now it doesnt have to be a guilty little secret. Hooray!

  7. […] Reverse Procrastination. […]

  8. Sherri says:

    Oh I love this post…came over from Chris’ reblog. I can really relate to this, getting really annoyed when other things get in the way like everything except writing. It’s great to know there is a name for it although perhaps not a cure…merely reform. And even that’s debatable πŸ˜‰

  9. I suffer reverse procrastination too. My solution? I hired a house keeper. Now I don’t have to feel bad about ignoring my housework to write.

  10. bhalsop says:

    I had this at the beginning of my writing career. I got cranky when something interrupted me. Now I’m an odd amalgam of both and I don’t know if I’m coming or going!

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