Writing & Procrastination

I’m procrastinating by writing this blog entry.

Part of it is out of guilt – the last time I actually wrote something was for the LOST finale – that was 5 months ago.  Gads.

Writing is one of those things that is quite therapeutic for me; one of my friends told me she appreciated my honesty in writing, because it says the things that people think in their heads but don’t necessarily want to put on a page. I think it’s my own version of therapy – getting the words I wish I could say out in front of me so they lose their power over me.

Since my last blog entry, I’ve been learning a lot.  Summer was an absolute blur – Accounting and Business Strategy were wonderful classes…except they were not meant to be taken for any sane person working full time.  Of course, we all know my sanity is slightly questionable…

I have two classes again this quarter – Microeconomics, and Leading the Mission Driven Enterprise.  I love both – I just wish I had more time to study.  I know some folks aren’t really into this stuff…but I do enjoy it.

Except when I’m procrastinating.

What I love is that I’m learning in a way that is different from any way I’ve learned before; that might sound weird, but business school just makes you think differently than engineering. Different from seminary classes.  Different from literature.

And I need time to think about this.

Which is why I’m writing again; writing is often my therapy of trying to make some sense of a life that I feel like moves faster and faster.  I try to sit at the end of each day and ask God to show me what I missed that he was trying to say to me.  I do the equivalent of the “highlight” reel of the day, and ask God to show me more of what he wanted me to see so I don’t miss it.  Evangelical Christians talk so often of a relationship with God…but most of our “relationship” is defined by information acquisition (learning about God) and rarely conversation on what God is actually doing in our lives, and asking him the deepest questions and longings of our hearts.

What has this done?  As I age, I realize I can see farther down the road than I used to – that this behavior will lead to that, that this thought leads to something else…it’s weird.  My students say something and I’m instantly transported to another time when I heard the same words, and realize that they are walking down someone else’s path…both for good and not so good. I can’t explain it well quite yet.

What I know is that I need more time to write.

I’m going to out myself here and say I’m procrastinating.  And in the spirit of confession, here are my best strategies for procrastination.  I’d love to hear if you use any of these:

1. Denial.  I’m not really busy.  I just look like it.

1a. Playing with my calendar.  Thinking about what I will do when makes me feel so productive, and reinforces denial.

2. Cleaning. My roommate knows that when all the dishes are done, the range is spotless, the counters smell like orange cleaner, the laundry is done, the bed is made, the floors are mopped, the closet is reorganized, and I clean behind the toilet.  Yep, Andy’s avoiding something.  But I was so productive in my procrastination.

3. Referring to myself in the 3rd person.  Do you ever do this? Andy does.  He does when he’s trying to remove himself from his situation and sound very objective.  Going clinical on yourself is a great way to reinforce denial (see 1)

4. Emptying every form of communication I have.  Email. Texts. Junkmail. Facebook? Confession: I don’t often reply to facebook messages.  I can only handle so many.  If you want to get ahold of me, email me.

5. Reorganizing my task list.  Yes – want to feel productive and not really being productive.

5a. Planning HOW I will get my task list done.  Going back to fiddling with calendar (see 1a).

6. Writing. Writing is my therapy of trying to work out meaning.  But it is so hard to work out meaning in life when margins are so small.  In economic terms, I’m moving dangerously past marginal cost and dipping into profit reserves.

When I daydream, I continually go back to screenplay or novel I want to write…a story of five very different men who meet in college, travel their separate ways, and continually return together yearly and slowly become more like each other.  I want people to write the books that we aren’t writing because we (really, I) are (am) too busy…


Sigh. Time to get back to Microeconomics.

1 Response to “Writing & Procrastination”

  1. 1 Amy Kay October 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I’m guilty of all but #3. However, I usually start with cleaning and move on to list making. I actually procrastinate on such a scale now that my procrastination tools are necessary for me to get anything done. I can’t focus or be happy unless the house is first clean and I have a nice list of tasks to complete.

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October 2010

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