I often thought that if you looked up the noun version of the word, you would see a picture of me looking straight at you with a big-ass grin. Yes, I am a procrastinator. If there was an anonymous group for us, I would have to stand up and say, "Hi. I'm Sylvia and I'm a procrastinator."
I guess it's nothing to be proud of, but I have to admit to it. I think it started when I was younger. My mom assigned us kids household chores to do every Saturday morning, and my job was to clean the bathroom. Mother would leave to go do errands and we were expected to get our chores done. I was the youngest and it frustrated my sisters that I would wait until the last minute, right before I knew Mom was coming home, to start my cleaning. Sometimes they would have to help. I was always being yelled at...mostly by my sisters.
In school, I was one of those students who didn't have to study. I got A's and B's...until I went to college and then realized I had no clue how to keep up. I always waited until the last minute to read assignments. There were long nights before exams sitting in the hallway trying to cramp "knowledge" into my brain. Now, if it was just reading I didn't mind, but 'forced' reading was a different matter. I hate to be forced to read anything. You can see how this may have cause problems in my military career. I loved learning but studying for promotions put me to sleep every time. I did learn to meet deadlines...because I was forced to.
As an independent writer and self-publisher, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to publish traditionally and have such deadlines....having editors or agents calling you for rewrites or wanting new pages. I'm sure it would be exciting...at first...but knowing me, the procrastinator would rear it's ugly head sooner than later. Drat!
So I said all this to admit....I've been procrastinating again about completing my WIPs. I always say to myself, and others (you know who you are!) that life somehow got in the way, but I believe it's because I'm worried about the work. I use to write for me and my family and friends. I think everyone I know read the drafts of my books before I even self-published. That's why I got the pity buys. Why buy it when you've already read it and had easy access to the author? Now that I'm starting to meet new authors and strangers are buying/downloading my work, I'm beginning to get that paranoid feeling that the work can't stand up to a readership. Reading other blogs and emailing/texting other writers I understand now that we all have that fear of success. We want it, but we fear it.
Understanding that fear may not make me give up my procrastinating 'habit', but it's enough to get me to follow through. Let's hope. Or maybe I'm just lazy....