verb: delay or postpone action; putting off doing something

There are two things I despise…lying and procrastinating. Unfortunately, I am hypocritical about the latter. It’s not that I’m lazy, I think it’s mostly because I am unfocused, distracted, over stimulated and sometimes known as a perfectionist.

I’ve had this idea for a book in my head for twenty years. Sometimes “the book” keeps me up at night. Other times I think about it obsessively while driving. It is literally haunting me. Why can’t I get my ideas down on paper? I read about writing…How to Organize Your Day to Accommodate Writing, What You Should Write About, Why You Should Write A Book, Where You Should Write to Be Successful. How, What, Why, Where. “Just write!!!” I tell myself. And so it goes this back and forth, this push and pull between “I will get to it” and the fact it’s not getting done. It is to the point that I am now feeling bad about myself.

My obsessive-compulsive-self seeks perfection. Even though I know logically it doesn’t exist. I sabotage myself by attempting it anyway, pretty much in all that I do. I think that when everything around me is perfect, then I will sit down and write. And it will be awesome. And the birds will sing. And, you get the idea. This rarely happens of course, throwing me off, keeping me constantly side-tracked, getting other things done, making them “perfect”. “I will write after I start the laundry, clean the kitchen, pay some bills…” I tell myself. But writing is important to me. Important enough that I feel balanced the days I do write. Why should it be so incredibly difficult to sit down at the computer and just type? I am delaying what is of significance to me. Postponing the action of writing. I am putting it off. I am a total procrastinator!

I’m unfocused and I want it to be perfect. There. I have admitted it. The next step is correcting the inadequacies. I must prioritize the act of writing itself. Leave the laundry, do the writing. Hone in. Do it first thing. And I must let go of “perfect” and accept “good enough”. As Sheryl Sandberg says, “Done is better than perfect.” I don’t like that I’m a procrastinator, but I am working on it. I’m attempting to solve my problem and move forward for the right reasons. I’m altering my universe to prioritize something I’ve wanted to do but never done before, so I kind of like that about myself.

“We are always afraid to start something that we want to make very good, true and serious.”

Brenda Ueland

What is haunting you? What are you obsessing over beginning? Why is it so hard to start something “good, true and serious”?

3 replies »

  1. My ex could always tell, when he came home from work, if I had taken the time to work a lot that day (writing) or if I had not. If the latter, the house was actually in order:). Writing is always good . . . and there’s never a perfect time!


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