Philosophical Monday: Is the Need to Be a Good Friend a Procrastination Daemon?

procrastinationdemonSo last week I had an epic, epic fight with the finishing demons. Like most epic demon fights, this mostly involved me feeling too tired and overwhelmed with work and other responsibilities to write on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

Suddenly it was very important that I finish every script that I had been given to read, return every call, send friends long and involved emails — last Monday I got a fortune cookie that basically said that I needed to work on being a better friend. Also, another friend sent me a chain email about connecting with friends more, so I figured this was a sign from the universe to get back on the better friend bus.

But now that I look back on it, I wonder if it wasn’t the procrastination demons in disguise. As I get older, I can look back on my life a little more frankly, and I realize that during the the times when I was at my most social, I got the least amount of dream work done. I’d go to my job, dates, brunches galore, attend every party I was invited too — and at the end of the day, I was still a starving artist with a crappy day job who wasn’t actually writing towards her goals.

So now I’m rather boring. But I get stuff done. I miss my friends very much. But I get stuff done. I would love to have brunch with so-in-so in Santa Monica. But I get stuff done.

And conveniently enough, I only feel massively guilty about not being as available as I used to be when I’m trying to finish something without a deadline. (A deadline is a writer’s best friend, but unfortunately we rarely get them on the stuff we actually want to finish.)

So last night, just as I was about to return every Facebook email that was sitting in my inbox, I closed out of Firefox, and opened my novel doc — “just to look at it” I assured the alarmed finishing demons. Then with them yelling, “No! No! No! It’s not a good enough ending” in my ear for an entire six pages, I finished the rough draft of my second novel. 350+ pages written since January.

I would be proud of myself, but like I said last week, the real work of rewriting begins in a month. And meanwhile I need to begin my 3rd novel, while the second one is in gestation, because not writing at all for a whole month will only leave me sad and depressed.

Have I mentioned that the only thing worse than finishing demons are starting demons? Ah, well.

What procrastination demons keep you from starting and/or finishing your projects? I’m trying to make a list, so that when it becomes really, really important to give my office desk a thorough cleaning or spend more quality time with my cats or get rid of my backlog of Damages episodes I’ll know what’s really going on.

The Next 21-Day Challenge:

Career Challenge: Working on a new novel for 20 minutes a day

Meta Challenge: Reading for 20 minutes a day.


Art credit: Smudgie’s Ghost