Friday, October 23, 2009

Procrastination Station

Just over a week ago I finished part one of the current WiP, full of glee at getting a good 53K words and eager to start on part two. But I found that, having finished a distinct part without making an immediate effort to start the next section, it was difficult to set hands to keyboard again. First I had to re-read my outline and make sure that it fit with the changes I'd made to the outline of part one as I wrote it. Then I had to make a few more notes about things to include, stuff I needed to know. After that I had to add more worldbuilding to my guidebook for future reference. And so a week went by without any new words being written on the actual book itself.

Now, I know that this was all procrastination station.

(a) I've done part one. Yay! [Euphoria]
(b) What if it sucks? [Gloom]
(c) I need to start part two! [Confidence]
(d) What if it sucks? [Gloom]
(e) Oh, crap. I know where part one should have started (and it's not where I did start it). [Gloom]
(f) Maybe I should just tweak... [Gloomy indecision]

Yesterday, I finally broke the deadlock and tapped out 339 words. Not a lot, but a damn sight more than zero, and today I tapped out some more.

On a personal level, I think one of the causes of the inadvertent hiatus was the fact that when I got to the end of part one I just stopped. What I should have done was write something, anything, even just one sentence of part two - just to get the ball rolling so that I wasn't staring at the Chapter 15 heading and a blank page.

How do you deal with coming to the end of one section and picking up another? Do you stop dead at the end of a chapter and start a new one with ease? Do you tease out a few lines of the new section so that when you come back to it you've got a thread to hang the rest on, or do you face down the blank page with ease and bash out the 1812 Overture on your keyboard without a backward glance at your notes?

Have you ever stopped at Procrastination Station? Enquiring minds want to know.


  1. Hi, I hear you about the stops and starts when writing. Usually if I am in the moment and the words keep flowing but my eyes are starting to blur, I'll force myself to start a new chapter or paragraph with at least a few sentences. Just enough to tweek my memory of where I was and where I was going with the story, when I return. I have many days that I will look at my laptop and know I should write but can't bring myself to do it. I know enough about myself that if I tried to write it would not be quality. I have to think my story for a while and then when my procrastinating moments are behind me, I write.

  2. Thanks for posting!
    Sometimes I'll move away from the PC and write out longhand and see if that helps, but I do think that in future I'm going to have to write at least a couple of sentences in the next section/ chapter etc. just to make certain that I don't stop dead!