April is usually a hard month for my productivity. It’s the time when I realise 25% of the year has passed. I then take a look back at what I’ve done and… I don’t like what I see.
Above, you can see a graph of my writing by words written, categorised in two: blog writing (in blue) and novel writing (in red). Obviously, I’ve been pretty consistent in the first two months of the year, but March has been a catastrophe. The reason? That damn procrastination.
The Yoga example
When I joined the company I’m working for, I learnt that they were organising yoga class every Monday for their employees. “Great!” I rejoiced. I thought I would go every single Monday, and I did… for a time.
Maybe it’s because of the weather, maybe it’s seasonal. But at some point, I stopped going. I always had a good excuse. “Sorry, it’s THAT time of the month.” “Oh no, I’m too tired.” “I’ve got a meeting with a friend, I can’t come this time, but I’ll come next time, promise.” To say the truth: it’s never the right time to go to yoga class. I just keep pushing it and pushing it, but hardly ever go back.
Same old procrastination
I hope this yoga example doesn’t apply to my writing. However, in both cases, procrastination is my antagonist. It’s the little voice in your head who says you can do whatever but do it tomorrow. And that tomorrow never comes.
Sometimes, I have a moment of lucidity and I go write some words on my computer. Or I’ll make some notes on my phone about a great idea I just had, thinking I would expand that idea later. But the beast is there, lurking in the dark. Procrastination never sleeps, it always finds a way to keep you in that damn nothingness loop.
We all have excuses for not writing, not getting the work done. I’m procrastinating by doing the chores: I’ll wash the dishes and the clothes, do the hoover or cook the meal faster than I’ll sit down with my computer to actually write. Or I’ll go on social media, youtube or netflix instead.
When I’m reading my article on New Year Resolutions and how I publicly said that my word for this year is Consistency, I can’t help but laugh. Of course, my goal has not changed. I still would love to get that book done and to be consistent with my blog. In a perfect world, I’m sure I’d be an author with lots of books published by now. If only my reality matched my imagination.
Reassessing the expectations
When I look back on the three months that had passed, I see failure. My first failure is to have worked harder on the blog than I did on the novel. As an author, writing books should come first. My second failure is that I haven’t written as much as I thought I would, on both sides. I might have imagined getting into a writing routine but the fact is that I haven’t done it.
I’ve got a Writing Journal, which shows me the days I’ve worked on either the novel or the blog and how many words I got done. The least I can say is that I haven’t been consistent at all. I had long periods of time when I did nothing productive.
Of course, I have a life: a husband, friends, a job, hobbies. But it shouldn’t be an excuse if I want to reach the goals I had fixed earlier this year. Everyone has a life, everyone is struggling. But a few of us are doing it anyway because it’s their thing.
“If you’ve got time to judge other people, you’ve got time to judge yourself. Who cares what everyone else is doing, what have YOU done today?” – Jenna Moreci.
But instead of getting my head down and thinking my year is completely lost, I shall keep going. All I have to do is fight this damn procrastination. Easy, right?
The fight has started. Let’s beat procrastination together and use the hashtag #FightWithEstelle on Twitter.
Who’s joining me in the battle?