Mayday Mayday!

Kate and friends have done some really cool posts recently about building a community, and marketing yourself so as not to become a pile of product in someone’s basement but I’m going to shift focus.

For one post anyway. I don’t know where we’ll be on Thursday yet. If you expected fore-thought out of me you’ve come to the wrong blog.

Like about eighty percent of the things I do, I didn’t over-think the title of the blog. I sat there and stared at the little blinky cursor until something came to me. And someday we’ll talk about the level of over-thought I give to the other twenty percent of things–case in point, I spent twenty minutes last night picking the appropriate poisonous herb for a three paragraph short story I wrote for funsies–but for tonight we’re going to talk a little about the art of procrastination.

I am a master, level 80–complete with diamond kit armor and special con-attendee only pet–procrastinator. In a two hour span of time I should have been editing I can simultaneously catch up on a TV show, write a short fanfic, vacuum everything that doesn’t move in my living room, knit a cup cozy, do the dishes, make my cat compulsively lick his nose 12 times, and plot an entire novel.

When I’m supposed to be cleaning the house, or working on a craft project for a present I can write an entire series in a month.

I was thirty-two when a friend looked at me one day and asked if it’d ever entered my mind that possibly maybe conceivably the ridiculous hamster wheel that is my brain might be just slightly ADD. That whole utterly no focus/extreme focus cycle that spirals out of control at the most inopportune of times certainly has those benchmarks.

Since sometime in June I’ve been all extreme focus. I have been unusually, unbelievably productive. I’ve done advanced business schedules, and websites, and content updates, and magazine layout, and crap-crackers I don’t even know what else. I sat down this weekend and porked my way through two full weeks of slush–because even when I’m being productive I can still procrastinate.

There’s a point where the extreme focus has to go away. Where I need to step back and charge my batteries with something else for a while. Am I a little concerned I’ve just landed myself in a spot where that’s not possible? Absolutely. We’ve got a schedule, and there are great whopping portions of it that require all hands on deck, especially here in the beginning.

The art of procrastination lies in learning to read your brain’s “Mayday” signals. Accepting maybe the best thing you can do is take a minute and let it do what it wants, lose focus for a while before you lose focus completely. And then giving yourself permission for it.

Even with everything else I had to do this weekend, I watched most of The Civil War by Ken Burns–I have an unreasonable, strange crush on Shelby Foote–and Clue. I’m not even a little sorry. I read a veritable raft of Captain America fanfic, and I’m not sorry about that either.

While you’re giving yourself permission to relax, check out our ‘Research’ page up there to your left. I promise it’s not really research. Well, unless you’re like me and freaking everything is research in one way or another.

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One thought on “Mayday Mayday!

  1. Kate says:

    Taking an evening off is hard for me. Taking a full weekend feels impossible. Especially when there seems to be so much to do.

    Then, on the other hand, there’s things like: http://particle-clicker.web.cern.ch/particle-clicker/# which just makes me happy in a totally weird way. (Think nerdy cookie clicker.)

    Still, I when I actually go on vacation – can’t wait for October – I know that I will not be “on” constantly. I look forward to it like a cat looks forward to catnip. I will put my phone in the safe for the day. Hide my laptop and not think about work or business or anything for about a week. Well, except that writing thing, because that’s what slips away for me when I’m focused on business. [Why does focused not have 2 esses? I ask you? Really English?]

    Besides, guilt is soooo overrated. I’ve finally found people to surround myself with whom I can *trust* with parts of projects.

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