I’m stressed out and have too much work to do, so naturally I’m procrastinating by working on different things with less severe deadlines, that way I’ll be in a constant frantic state of feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing and time keeps bleeding away. Some days I’m just plain not disciplined enough to be a full-time freelancer; I put in 6 hours of steady work today, but I’ve got dozens more hours of work to do and I can’t bring myself to sit at my desk and do it (currently writing from a laptop on my couch, where I’m comfort re-watching The Tudors).
It probably doesn’t help that my dryer broke yesterday and every hangable surface in my house is festooned with wet clothes, which aren’t drying because of the wet weather. Or that it’s distinctly beginning to feel like autumn, a time of year where my mind goes in a hundred different directions anyway. Or that all my work is of approximately equal priority, so it’s hard to decide where to begin. Or that things I’m stressed about are completely beyond my control, so I can dwell but not fix anything!
Or that I’m having a vague struggle with writing right now.
You only hear me talk about writing during NaNoWriMo, because that’s when I concentrate the hardest, but I write the rest of the year too. Or recently, I sit around with a document open and make minute, single-word changes and reread things and harrumph to myself about how much I want to write, but nothing’s coming out. Then I tell myself I’m editing, but that feels like a lie, because I’ve been working on the same 120,000 word manuscript for literally years and it’s still not finished. This little dry spell, a month and a half before NaNo begins, when I should be thinking up my next idea and plot, is troubling.
So I’m going to use tools. Old favorite Write Or Die has some excellent new options since last I looked, now offering rewards in addition to punishments, and something that purports to create “a pleasant writing environment” involving purring or rain or heart beats, which could actually be very useful if you’re writing something suspenseful? And for the competitive (me), there’s a productivity leaderboard. These are all paid features, but as I’ve been benefiting from WoD’s free interface for years now I may finally just do the damned thing.
How do you prefer to procrastinate? What’s your favorite way to shake off a slump, or trick yourself back into writing productivity again?