I’ve just concluded my annual trip through The Artist’s Way for the year. Today’s question was on procrastination.
First of all, I certainly procrastinate with the best of them. I can absolutely spend a day when I should be writing up a creek somewhere. I’ve been known to decide today is a good day to bake pie. I have, at times, picked a spot next to a river to simply rest and think about absolutely nothing.
And it occurred to me that I actually did all of that recently, and far from being a problem, it was exactly what I needed.
I recently took my first vacation in twelve years, and the first vacation I’ve ever taken alone with the specific intention of resting. I was astounded the amount of time I spent simply lying on the couch, watching the sun make patterns with the leaves on the windows, or walking down the road to listen to the creek talking to itself, or watching the wind ripple still water on a morning river. I revised as well, but that was secondary to simply taking the time to relax.
I cooked some really nice meals for myself, something that I haven’t had time or inclination to do in a while. I sat down every morning outside on the deck and ate breakfast. I went to be when the sun went down most nights. I watched no television (there wasn’t one), my social media engagement was limited mostly to letting my friends know I hadn’t been eaten by a bear, and I journaled every day about what wonderful things I’d seen and what feelings I had about them.
All good things come to an end, but the moment I got back and headed back into my deadlines, obligations, and painful things (like saying goodbye to another one of my elderly animals), I found myself throwing myself back into revisions to escape.
Which made me think that there’s a little something out of balance with my creativity. I don’t necessarily need to procrastinate, but I need to make time for being done with work and ready to play. Whenever I get to the end of my revision time and start wondering if I could get in another two chapters by skipping dinner or foregoing family time, there’s a problem! I’m not exactly sure how to fix it, but I’m determined to spend more time planning my little vacation times when I can let go of the drive to write long enough to at least watch a sunset.
The words will still be there when I come back.