September 24, 2010

Procrasti-Pants

I found a new pair of pants and I've been wearing them for a few weeks now. The Procrasti-Pants. Yes, I've been procrastinating and am getting so frustrated, I could just scream. Actually, my Cranky Pants are wanting to be worn over the Procrasti-Pants, but I am really trying to keep them stuffed in the closet.

I took the month of August off due to massive work hours and moving into a new home. Now that I am settled and ready to jump into a new story, I am doing everything in my power to avoid it.

Whyyyyyy?????????????

Really. Why? Why? Why?

Well, I have a feeling I have found the problem. A sweet friend of mine gave me Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, and I am loving it. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Perfectionism. Listen to what Lamont says about it:
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a sh**** first draft.....Perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force. Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up.
I think the problem is that I don't want to write a messy book. My first one didn't have much of a detailed plot and there are some major issues with it--so much that I can't bring myself to finish editing it. It is too much work, according to my perfectist's mind. (Don't worry...I will edit it one day soon, but I want to start something new first.)

I want this next book to be less work in the editing phase, so I want to really get it plotted out and know where the story is going. But I think this may be my problem. I am not allowing myself to write a bunch of drivel, but  sometimes drivel is needed to find the gem. Sometimes the great story is in the midst of the pile of mess that you have created.

I'm thinking I need to have a basic plot, know the 3 acts, the disasters and black moment, and just let loose. Maybe that will get me going.

I'm still finding it difficult to find "My Writing Time". It's time to try some different times and what really works for me. Is early better? 4:30am is really early, but maybe that is best for me. Or maybe 9-10 pm. Could that be the sacred hour? I don't know...we shall see.

So what kind of pants are you wearing these days? Happy Pants? Productive Pants? Cranky Pants? Or the dreaded Procrasti-Pants?

P.S.  By the way, I posted about my Three Country Dream Vacation at The Writer's Alley today...complete with pictures!

14 comments:

  1. For the past two days, I've been wearing Blah pants. Sort of in a blah mood. I need to snap out of it.

    I love Bird by Bird! I find myself procrastinating for the same reason. But once I let the words flow and don't worry about drivel, things start pouring out. My first drafts are ALWAYS drivel. That's what rewriting is for. James Scott Bell says to write your first draft hot (fast, fast, fast), then revise cold. I like that advice.

    Happy writing Sherrinda!

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  2. Lol love the pants descriptions.

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  3. I've been kidnapped and productive pants have been forced onto my body. Yeah, not one but two deadlines are stopping coffees with friends, blogging with wonderful friends, even READING has been cut to the Bible and my Oswald C. devo. Well, almost.

    Please hop by my place when you have the time and give me a bit of Sherrinda. Sigh. We're talking until 11/15...or until I press send and the manuscripts fly to the publishers.

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  4. Lol, Never heard the term Procrastipants, but I think I'll add it to my dictionary.

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  5. All summer I was wearing PARALYZED pants. I think I took one too many writing courses and read one too many writing blogs and it really messed with my mind.
    Now I'm ignoring everything and everyone(including myself-LOL) and wearing HAPPY PRODUCTIVE pants. I started a new story and it's all good--to me, anyway.

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  6. Oh, dear, don't get me started on pants. I wear too many. Oh, no, that's hats, isn't it?

    Ann Lamott is so wise when it comes to writing. I love Bird by Bird.

    You know more now than you did the first time, so go ahead and let yourself write that first draft, even if it's less than perfect. I'll be you'll surprise yourself with how much less there is to clean up than you dreamed.

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  7. I've never had a "my writing time." I just sneak in a few words here and there, usually when I SHOULD be doing something else, which is probably not the route I should take, but it's become an obsession to write when I'm not supposed to.

    Oooh! Maybe that's what you could do, try writing when you really should be doing something else. The delightful little no-no aspect might spark a good muse. But...that's probably not good avice to give a pastor's wife, huh? So, never mind. Just ignore me!

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  8. I love your new pants, even though I'm sure you probably don't :) I've been wearing Productive Pants but I'm hoping to change them soon for Creative (and Comfortable) Pants. Getting two synopses and two full manuscripts ready to send out. It's fun but scary! Can't wait to start on my new novel!

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  9. Productive Pants...but I find I change pants often. I have a few pairs of "Get-Depressed-and-Eat-Until-You-can't-fit-into-any-pants" pants.

    ~Britt Mitchell

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  10. Hi Sherrinda -

    Ugh! I'm in the procrasti-pants too. Since my current WIP is book three of a series (although a stand-alone), I think I'm waiting to hear the fate of book one before I finish it.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  11. Awww, Katie! I bet you are coming down off your high from the conference. I know you will get back your great smile and get back into the swing of things soon!

    Thanks, CJ. It's become one of my favorite topics of late.

    Patty, I can't imagine being in your shoes (I almost said pants, but thought...no, that's not what I want to say!) Deadlines, both writing and editing....whew! That's alot of work to do. You can do it though! I have faith in you!

    Sarah, I bet most writers have a pair of them hiding away in their closets. ;)

    Jennifer!!!! I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes all the info in writing books scares me silly. I think I'll never know it all and could never possibly master the art of writing well. But then...to let yourself loose and the words flow...it's just the best!!!

    You are one busy lady, dear Jeanette, but God's entrusted you with much, so you must be competent! :)

    Cindy!! Comfy Pants...those sound heavenly! After being productive and getting two manuscripts ready, you deserve to get comfy!

    Linda, I LOVE your idea! Maybe I should just go for it and write whenever! If I wait for a good time, it will never come. If a force a time, it might squelch my "muse". lol I will definitely give it a try! (As for being a pastor's wife...I tend to be a rebel-wannabe!)

    Aw, Brit, do your pants include all-you-can-eat-ice-cream? Because I may want to borrow them! Sorry you are feeling low. Anything I can help with?

    Susan, I can totally sympathize with you. Writing is so much work and so you don't want to put all your effort and energy into something that is a no=go. But if they are stand alones, you can shop them all around and see who grabs!

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  12. This post really spoke to me, Sherrinda. I've also had a really tough August-September as far as work schedule goes, and I'm having to make myself be productive now. I can relate to the whole perfectionism disease and feeling the need to get it absolutely right before getting it done, when getting it done can be more important at times.

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  13. I'm so wearing these. Every day. And they are too tight, but I can't seem to change out for a more comfortable pair. Grrrr!

    Great post :)

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  14. Heather, this post spoke to me too! I've been so convicted on my need for perfection. Well, it ain't happening...ever! So I need to deal with it and move on to the joy of writing!

    Eric, I totally get it. It is so frustrating, isn't it? Maybe someday we will grow out of it????

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