The Pros and Pros of Procrastinating

Posted on July 10, 2021

I’ve been working on a scene set in the Tor-Milanese Ambassador’s house in Lestar, for book 4 (An Empty Fade). I have got one of my characters into a bind and I know he’s going to get out of it, but I’ve been having a lot of trouble working out how. It’s starting to dawn on me now but it needs a bit longer to mature.

So rather than focus on it, I’m going to write a blog entry instead.

(Cue cries of: ‘What are you doing? Get on with writing the book! Haven’t we waited long enough?’)

Bear with me while Professor Adam Grant helps me explain – check out the YouTube link here and then pop back.

So, if I think of procrastination as ‘waiting while it incubates’ rather than ‘being lazy’, what’s to stop me waiting forever (and you never get the book)?

Andrew Kirby (also to be found on YouTube) has a different definition that he feels should be used for procrastination: not using your time wisely. On that basis, I’m not procrastinating at all.

I know from past experience that if I try to sit at the computer right now and knock out the solution that’s just occurred to me, I’ll either be staring at a blank screen for most of the day, produce boring unoriginal writing that I end up deleting or I’ll give up and go do something else that feels more urgent or easier. The last would be fine, I guess; but none of this is getting the scene written.

However, if I type up this blog whilst the idea putters about in my brain generating thoughts on why this would or wouldn’t work in the bigger story, I’m going to pull little strands together that weave something more solid. I’ll remember someone else this will affect; an unexpected impact enters the story and pow! – you, dear reader, end up with a far more satisfying read.

If there’s one thing I don’t want to do it’s short change you with An Empty Fade, especially after you’ve been kind enough to stick with me for three books already. But if the worst comes to the worst, there’s a good chance George RR Martin will finally have The Winds of Winter out to keep you occupied.

I hope that helped explain, thanks for your patience, and if you have a technique that works for your creativity, do let me know and I’ll share it!


One comment on “The Pros and Pros of Procrastinating”

  • Amanda Spice says:

    Hi, Helen. Great to hear from you. I’m a great believer in ‘letting your subconscious’ work on things, esp. overnight. If I’m not sure what to do, and if it can possibly wait, I always leave it awhile and see what firms up in my mind over time. So … definitely a fan of (suitable) procrastination! Love to see you for a walk sometime. Been rather busy here, but eventually, hey…

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