Of the entire writing process, I dread editing and revising.

I love brainstorming new ideas and shaping them into a story. I like pounding the keys of my AlphaSmart and letting the words add up. I even enjoy polishing those words up a little and sending them to my critique group for feedback.

What I hate is taking all of their comments and the pile of small bits of paper on which I scribbled later ideas and trying to work them seamlessly into the existing chapters.

I know it must be done. And I know I’ll be proud of the finished product. But in the meantime, making myself sit in front of the computer and wade through revisions … that is the part I subconsciously avoid at all costs.

Which (finally) leads to today’s topic. Procrastination.

I have completed two fiction manuscripts worthy of seeing the light of day. (The first attempt is buried somewhere in the recesses of my laptop.) One novel is polished and currently under consideration by an editor. The other needs to be dusted off and updated with more emphasis placed on one plot thread. But I’d much rather be working on the new book.

So, I shifted a few responsibilities around and even took a little time off from my day job. All so I could hypothetically chain myself to my desk chair and make progress on the necessary revisions. Get it done so my mind could be free from the lingering guilt and able to romp through the pages of the new story.

What happened? Procrastination. There was email to check. A few bills to pay. Laundry to fold. Blogs to brainstorm. I managed to fill my time … with everything but editing. At the end of my cleared up schedules, I still had many chapters left to fix and found more guilt to carry around.

Help me please! I need ideas to get me through the revisions phase on this old book. And ideas to keep it from happening again with the current book. Should I continue to attempt (daunting) marathon sessions at the end or should I make changes chapter by chapter as I get comments back? That should leave less work to be done later, but would it break my creative momentum on the first draft? Why the mental block? Because I’m afraid I can’t make it good enough … or make it like I imagined it would be, therefore I’m reluctant to try?

Whatever it is, I need to get over it. And soon. A writing career includes self-editing … and later edits from the publisher. Professionals don’t have time for excuses.

Perhaps I should do a Google search on procrastination and spend a few hours seeing what others have to say on the subject. Or maybe I should turn off the Internet, find some rope, and tie myself to my chair.

What about you? Do you ever procrastinate? Is it only with a certain type of task? How do you get past the mental wall?

Tagged on: