Tuesday, May 8, 2007

On Procrastination

A friend of mine says that procrastinators (como yo) are closet perfectionists. She says we procrastinate because we don't want to do a thing if we can't do it perfectly - and no one is perfect. I've always thought of my penchant for procrastination as the result of some sort of inherent laziness, but I think I'm starting to see her point.

Witness, this blog. I wanted to do a redesign, but I couldn't get the images just right. So I stopped blogging altogether. Every time I thought about blogging, I'd think about that redesign I wanted to get done. Then I'd think about how the stupid images and stylesheets were such a pain in my ass, and then I'd go do something else because I didn't have 5 hours to spend on my blog right then.

Trouble is, I think I do the same thing with my writing. Hubby gave me Stephen King's On Writing for my birthday, and I was surprised to read that King did not map out his plots, do character charts, or make revisions during the first draft. There are all these things I keep thinking I have to do when writing, but maybe I don't.

I'm a compulsive re-reader. Every time I sit down to write, I reread my last few chapters. And then I find typos, sentences that are not quite right, and plot points that could use a tweak. Result: Half a dozen works-in-progress in which the first four chapters read like a final draft, and which bore me absolutely to death.

So my project for the week is not to write, or to blog, but to stop being so damned picky. I did the redesign. It took me 1.5 hours. I still can't ditch the 2 pixel gap above the header, or the 10 pixel gap below the footer, but damn it, this is good enough.


P.S. Does anyone know how to get rid of those gaps? They really bug me.

Number of corrections made to this post after Bettie hit publish: 4

Advantage: Perfectionism