Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Every now and then there's one dark day that pops up on your calendar. You know which one I'm talking about. The one where your inner critic jumps out from a corner and drags you into the dirt, the day where nothing you write sounds right, and all your fears and worries and insecurities come out to play.

We have a name for these dark days. Writer's Block.

But sometimes it isn't really writer's block. Some days it's just really really truly intense procrastination. I'm not too proud to say this, but I admit that I may be one of the hardest procrastinators you'll ever come to know. If I don't want to do something even just a little bit, pshaw, forget it. Not happening. Just ask my Mom: I've stalled off doing the dishes in the sink for almost three days before, and that was with the nagging and threatening to disable the internet!

They say if you break down the blocks in your way that you'll overcome your stalling or block. Like talking something out to find the truth in the words. I don't know, I'm not too good with the inner-mind thing, heck I barely understand those fortune cookie riddles. But thankfully I stand a better chance at figuring out my own head, which is how I came up with my levels of procrastination.

Level One:  Guilt
Most aren't guilty over their stalling right out of the gate, and that's usually because they're focusing on other things to occupy themselves. But I always feel guilty the instant I stall so much that I frequently cave and try to make up for even the smallest of seconds spent shuffling my feet. But every now and then I slip by and fall into level two...

Level Two: Bitter Resentment & Avoidance
All aboard the pity train on level two, all aboard! Once I filter past the guilt I jump right into self-hate mode. This is also the moment where all those super morbidly depressing text messages go out to all of my friends. By this point most of them give me a thirty minute grace period to calm down, or wait until I guzzle some sugar and balance out. However, sugar doesn't cure the fact that at this point I'm avoiding everything to do with my work. The mere mention of writing is frowned upon. And it only get worse.

Level Three: Different Distractions
Most of us are distracted at the first step, by accident or on purpose. This always comes later for me and it takes place in so many forms I still don't know how to pinpoint it yet. Sometimes it's three hours of Twitter trolling, others it's Facebook news feed refreshing. Really bad days it's seven straight hours of Sims 3 shenanigans where my poor little pixels are forced to have a dozen babies. Either way, my distractions at this point are purely intentional. I'm ashamed I got distracted to begin with, therefore I only make it worse? I know, backwards, but it isn't over yet.

Level Four: Bargaining
"I promise if I can just write a little bit more I'll remember to feed the cat/dog/fish next time!"
Yeah, little too late for that, me thinks.

Bargaining is one of the oldest tricks in the book. We tell ourselves that if we just finish one more thing in our day that we'll get the awesome reward like ten extra minutes under the hot water in the shower, or a doughnut, or in my case, more Sims 3 shenanigans. Sadly I can never come up with something really worth bargaining for except treadmill time. Which I never get to since by time I'm done with all of these levels I'm too tired to step on it.

Level Five: Admittance, Acceptance & Drive
The last step. After countless hours of catching up on chores I didn't need to catch up on, TV shows that had to be watched, random snacks that most definitely didn't have to be made (or eaten in mass quantities) I finally give in and admit that I've goofed and done wrong. Spilled the milk, so to speak. It's usually after this moment (and a good emotional outburst or two at some inanimate object) that all returns to normal and the writing resumes.

And when all else fails, I watch tons of Harry Potter fan videos, like this one, which is AMAZING and I'm IN LOVE with.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, I'm a master at all of these. When I have something I need to get done but don't want to do, I suddenly think of all the other things I could be doing.