Monday, September 12, 2011

If Not Now, then When?

Procrastination is the thief of time.--Edward Young

I was reading a daily excerpt from the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach the other day and the title was called, "If not now, then when?"

The author went on to talk about making time for ourselves and the personal pleasures we tend to postpone in our life.

I DO make time for myself and my family--always--but perhaps not always for my writing. So I took a good long look at what goals I'm postponing.

I have friends with young children and they're always putting off writing because they say they don't have the time. They say that when their kids get older then they will have the time to devote to their career.


Hogwash. I think I had more time when the kiddo was younger than I do now. Why? I think I was more focused. I knew I only had that small window of nap time to get writing so I used that time wisely. Now that I have more free time, I don't think I'm using it to my advantage.

So if I don't take control of my time and writing now, then when?

Something in life always comes up, whether a hurricane, lice, earthquake (I'm speaking purely hypothetical now...) or even sickness.

It's September now which means I only have a few more months to reach my New Year goals. The kiddo's in school again and that means it's time to hunker down.

Two things (writing-wise) I want to accomplish before the year is out is:

1) to submit Kissing Kendall (tentatively titled)--Other times it's called "book thou does not wish to be written")

2) have rough draft finished of new work-in-progress before the year is out.

If I don't do this now, then when?

Please don't tell me I'm the only procrastinator out there!

What are you postponing in your life now?

34 comments:

Em-Musing said...

Oh, I'm the queen of procrastination. My best excuse for not writing is...I'm submitting. Doesn't that sound like a good one? But really, would one half hour be too much too squeeze in?

Jessica R. Patch said...

Great post, hilarious comment about life happening like lice...lol...and my head itched. I can't read that word without my head itching! :)

I'm postponing refinishing my bedroom furniture. It's gonna be a chore. But if not now? When?

Great post!

Jessica Nelson said...

At this moment, I'm postponing making the kids' lunches for school. lol
You're very right about more time when the kids are younger. Now that two are in school, I have to deal with lunches, homework, extracurricular things....yikes!

Laura Pauling said...

Now that my kids are older, I"m learning that really you have way more time when kids are younger to do what you want and they tag along. Yes, nap schedules are a pain, but later comes carpooling and driving everywhere.

Linda G. said...

Oh, I'm great at procrastinating. I finally reached the point where I told myself I didn't want to die with a bunch of unfinished manuscripts on my hard drive. The idea of that lit a fire under me. (Er, not that death was/is imminent or anything. But you never know when you might get hit by a bus.)

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm postponing the final final final revision/read-through/edit on the book that's going up on Kindle at the end of the month.

Truthfully I'm scared silly I'll find all kinds of things I want to change and I don't want to. I love the book the way it is, but as will all my writing, the longer I let it sit, the longer it begs me to fix it.

Amalie said...

Procrastinator here too. Before I could start current WIP, I decided it was impossible to get started until I had some kind of box to put all my different notes/index cards in. Shoe box? No, that wouldn't look good on my desk. Pretty cheapo box from dollar store? Nah. I know, I'll buy matte board, scrapbook paper, ribbons and Mod Podge... and make my own box! Then the cards will fit perfectly.

They do fit perfectly.

Lost several days to the insane side project though. But on the plus side, I do feel kind of organized. And it is pretty, when it's not covered with other papers I stacked on top of it because I didn't put them away!

Rula Sinara said...

I think everyone procrastinates at some point or some of the time. I warn my kids about it when it comes to homework. I need to practice what I preach, LOL.

Carol Kilgore said...

Good for you! I read Simple Abundance a few years ago. I think I'm going to pull it out and reread it in 2012. Some of its lessons have gotten lost along the way.

I have an award for you on my blog.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm postponing reading that email from the school nurse about lice. I'm not sure I want to know if it's in the school and I need to be doing a head check every night.

One more thing to do! :D
~ Wendy

Julie Jarnagin said...

I'm procrastinating on my content edit. It's big and scary, and I really want to hide under the covers instead of working on it. I would rather work on the next book that has no deadline and is still in the early stages, when I can still fool myself into believing everything I write is brilliant. Can you tell I'm not enjoying these edits?

Linda Kage said...

You're not the only procrastinator. I think I'd probably ignore everything else to write if some things didn't butt in and demand their due attention.

Bossy Betty said...

I think we often procrastinate because we have the idea that things need to be perfect. Still working on overcoming that....

Carolyn V said...

I'm postponing painting my front room! It really needs it. lol.

I have to agree. I have to block out time to write, just to make sure I have that time to myself. If not, it would never get done (and yes, there is much less time now that my kids are getting older! Who knew?)

Just Two Chicks said...

I've found that I simply don't have the creativity I had when I the kids and I were younger. It's so disappointing. I sit down to write and I lose it. It's also harder for me to concentrate. If there is anything else going on around me, then that gets my attention.

It's only getting worse. I've been told by family members that even my blogs are getting dry. SO, with these past three, I've been trying to lessen the daily blah. But in my blogs, I write as if I'm having a one way conversation.

I don't know, all I do know, is that like you, I had goals and I only have a few months to get them completed...

Good luck!! Can't wait to see what you've gotten done!

Bethany K. Mattingly said...

Thanks for the reminder. Procrastination and avoidance are two of my biggest enemies.

Susanne Drazic said...

I'm a procrastinator and I'm avoiding a lot of things right now. Too numerous to even begin listing. I think the first thing I need to do is get a list made and prioritize things and get some things done.

Sarah Pearson said...

I definite procrastinate - about everything. If it doesn't have a deadline, it doesn't get done. I'm a work in progress :-)

Kelley said...

I know what you mean about having more free time but not always using it very wisely. I hope you get some productive writing done this week!

Elle Strauss said...

Great goals, Jennifer--you can do it!

Karen Walker said...

I have to revisit my dreams and my priorities on a regular basis to make sure I don't neglect the things that are most important to me. Then I have to make sure I do those things. Not always easy and it's not always procrastination. Good luck, Jennifer
Karen

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Yes! I find I'm so motivated right now while my kids are little. I have writing time during nap time and after they go to bed, so I have to FOCUS. But yeah, when I have more time later on (like when they're all in school), I might find lots of other things to do. This does worry me sometimes. Anyway, all that to say, I totally hear what you're saying!

Amy

PatriciaW said...

For sure, you are not. I procrastinate at the highest levels with the best of procrastinators.

Lately though, I've been coming across a lot of quotes that have pushed me to do more. That and the big 5-0 which isn't too far away are causing me to say, "If not now, when?" But it's like dieting. You can only take it one day, one hour, one moment at a time. In each one, you have to choose to make the decision that moves you forward vs. the one that keeps you where you are.

blueviolet said...

I'm a huge procrastinator, but I'm with your friends about the kids. I waited until they left for college before focusing on myself, and I haven't regretted that for one second since. :)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Good luck with your goals, Jennifer! And I agree...It's almost easier to focus on scheduled writing time when my schedule is fuller. Counterintuitive, isn't it? :)

Angie Paxton said...

I'm a horrible procrastinator. Somehow, I manage to procrastinate myself out of writing almost every single day. I put it off and put it off until suddenly it's 11 p.m. and I'm too exhausted to do anything except stumble downstairs and fall into bed. I think I need to follow your example and set some goals and hunker down.

Niki Turner said...

Heard a preacher say once, "You can say 'amen' or 'oh, me.' This is definitely an OH ME kind of post. Thanks for the reminder to BUCK UP!

WritingNut said...

Oh my goodness.. you're definitely not alone! I've been working on improving, but old habits die hard... of course there's always the old adage "why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" ;)

Caitlin said...

Oh man I just went through a longer than I'd like to admit bout of procrastination. I kept using my small window of nap time for other things. Today I threw my foot down and made sure I got my writing time in!

You really do have to make the time for it. Sometimes it's hard, but so worth it. I've never regretted making the time for writing, but I've regretted not making it.

Kristi said...

I pretty much echo what most of the other commenters have said...it feels as if this post was written just for me!

Seems like there's always something to take me away from my writing, and lately, even my blogging! No more! Procrastination is going down this week! :P

PS-Been missing you during my recent bloggy absence! *hugs*

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm postponing a WiP that I love, but only because I have to focus on two other writing projects. In that case, postponing IS focusing. But I know exactly what you mean - I love the thief of time quote!

Much luck with your goals! I'm sure you can reach them. :)

Susan Fields said...

You've reminded me I need to set some goals. I always know what I want to get done, I just need to write them down and put some time estimates on them. BTW, the book I'm querying now is called Killing Kessler - rather close to your title, but I suspect they're quite different.

Sarita said...

I'm sending good writing thoughts your way! Great goals. I'm happy for you, and for us, too, because we get to read your fab words!

Happy writing.

Admin said...

Nice Post