It’s 3:30ish on a Saturday afternoon. Headphones firmly in place, I’ve been listening to my Writing playlist. It’s rain and ocean and babbling brooks, mostly to block out the every day noise around me. Including the occasionally noisy visitors who speak loud raucous Spanish next door. My desk is about the way I want it, enough room to spread my journal and books out to review notes.
I should be writing. There are two deadlines this weekend and I am right up against both of them. But I’m procrastinating. Because … that’s what I do. It’s what people do, especially writers.
I could explain it away as having my weekly routine disrupted by Thanksgiving and having to work last Saturday to make up hours. Or I could say that I’m so beat when I get home from the day job that the literal weight of writing tires me out more. Or … I need to do chores, the laundry, run errands, etc.
Those excuses don’t work today. There’s no reason to leave the apartment, chores are almost done and I slept in. I even started a canonical spreadsheet for a ginormous writing project. Then I found this:
“Well,” he said, “first, I put it off for two or three weeks. Then I sit down to write. That’s when I get up and go clean the garage. After that, I go upstairs, and then I come back downstairs and complain to my wife for a couple of hours. Finally, but only after a couple more days have passed and I’m really freaking out about missing my deadline, I ultimately sit down and write.”
That’s from Megan McArdle’s 2014 article in The Atlantic titled, “Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators.” Yep, there I am. Among other things, she addresses imposter syndrome. Lots of interesting and good things are on the horizon, and people I respect a great deal praise my work, but deep down I’m afraid I don’t deserve it. Compliments get lapped up greedily because they might go away and no one will call me brilliant ever again. Or they’ll find out everything I’ve done is a fluke.
So instead of writing, I’ve done the dishes and watched The Simpsons and contemplated going back to sleep because my day job kicks me in the ass some days.
Maybe, I should just start writing and see what happens.