Some Factoids on Writing and Procrastination

19 September 2011
kitty with yellow eyes
Writing is one unique activity that sets the human race apart from the higher forms of animals, and yet it is also a dreaded exercise in the academe... a necessary evil in offices... a chore for many.

Does this sound familiar? You bet it is. It's not surprising that 9 out of 10 people procrastinate with their writing work - professors, bloggers and freelancers alike.  On his May 5 entry at the APA Style blog, author and psychologist Paul J. Silvia explains why:

  1. Procrastination is hardwired among human beings. It is part of man's nature to procrastinate. You cannot shake the thing off completely. You can only manage it to a healthy degree.

  2. Writing does not come naturally. It is for the most part unpleasant and painful. Since the activity requires conscious effort, you tend to experience a sense of "relief" (and not joy) whenever you complete a piece of work.

  3. The act of putting off things to another day is part of the creative process - that is on the assumption that your diversions are productive. Interrupting the writing process in order to cross-check facts is one example.

  4. To manage procrastination, you need will power, a personal contract to reward yourself for writing, and a determination to make writing a habit. You might also fare better if you joined a writing group and set goals together.

As you can see, procrastination is a universal experience. Just don't allow yourself to indulge in it for too long or you will lose the race to other freelancers. News stories, books, articles and reading materials get published everyday and all of them around tight deadlines and definite due dates. The publishing industry won't wait for you.*
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