Putting off tomorrow.

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”

-Edward Young

Over and over and over again over these last two and a half years, I’ve reminded myself how precious time is; that it shouldn’t be wasted. After all, I’ve seen it in action: the way a mere phrase or phone call or the briefest of moments can permanently alter every cell in your body, so that afterwards you never think or dream or breathe the same way again. I don’t need anyone to tell me that all we have is this moment, this one, right now. I already know.

And yet. As I sit here, writing this to you, I am – at this very moment – procrastinating. I am putting off doing things that are important to me. Even after I resolved that I wouldn’t, I am still finding ways to stall. I am making excuses. Why?

I have a plan. It’s sort of epic. Can I tell you about it?

Ever since my mother died two and a half years ago, a story has been kicking around inside of my brain. Scenes of it play in my mind like a movie. It is a movie. Well, not yet. After mom died, I wrote the story in fits and starts – sketches of scenes, bits of dialogue. But I couldn’t really get a rhythm going because too much was happening. I was too messed up. I couldn’t see it or admit it at the time, but I was. My dad was sick, my grandmother was sick, the person I loved most in the world was abruptly gone with all kinds of questions surrounding her death, and oh, on a side note, my personal life was an utter disaster. My world had flipped upside down.

To make everything worse, I couldn’t write. I felt stupid, clumsy. My tongue was thick in my mouth. Words were stubborn, refusing to string together to form sentences. The thing that had always come easy for me, the thing I’d fallen back on when all else failed, had suddenly become impossible.

But little by little, it started to come back. I started writing again. And over the last two plus years, I have written a lot. I wrote while my life changed. I wrote through all kinds of moments – heartbreaking moments and sweet moments, laugh out loud moments and joyful moments. You see, once you get through the worst part of a trauma, once you realize it won’t actually kill you, once you realize that you still care enough to pick yourself up and keep on living, you become capable of experiencing profound joy. And it’s often joy where you wouldn’t expect it:  in small, seemingly insignificant moments that you never even realized were beautiful until you looked at them through the lens of loss. Even though you’re sadder and more broken, when you laugh you really mean it, and when you love you really mean it, and even though you wouldn’t wish what’s happened to you on anyone, your dirty little secret is that you don’t want to go back to the way you were before, because the old you was oblivious, fumbling around in the dark, while this you is awake to everything. And once you’ve woken up, you can’t go back to sleep.

But this is not meant to be a blog about loss, it’s meant to be a blog about procrastinating.  See? I’m doing it again.  OK, to get back to the point:  the story that has been kicking around in my head for the last two and a half years while I tried and failed at writing it is finally taking shape. It’s a screenplay of a movie that is based upon my life.

The story is set in Olympia, Washington, the town where I went to high school and where I plan to film the movie. That’s right, I’m going to make the movie myself. I know just enough about producing films to be terrified of how much work it will be, how much money it will cost, and how much I still need to learn. Basically, I know enough to know that I don’t know enough. Not yet.

But in allowing myself to feel overwhelmed about the filmmaking part before I’m even there yet, I’ve been putting off the step I’m on now, which is sort of crucial: finishing the script. I’m self-aware enough to recognize my own resistance, and resistance and I are currently locked in a daily tug of war.  I’ve got post it notes with motivational sayings all over my house, an accountability circle where I bring in pages of the script every week, and plans for a table read of the full script in May. But every day when it’s time for me to sit down and do my work, I’m like a petulant child who doesn’t want to go to school, looking for any excuse I can not to go.

What the hell is my problem? This story is important to me, and I want to tell it. Yes, writing it is hard. Yes, certain scenes aren’t coming out the way I want them to, at least not yet. But I’m making everything so much harder than it needs to be with my acrobatic stalling techniques. If writing this script is the thing that matters most to me, why will I do nearly anything to avoid working on it?

Maybe it’s the fear of failure thing. Maybe it’s the fear of success thing. Maybe it’s the fear that I’ll actually accomplish my goal and after all the blood, sweat and tears, I’ll get to the other side of it and realize that this process didn’t heal my life the way I’m hoping it will. Maybe I’m afraid that no matter what I do, nothing will ever change.

I think to some degree, my resistance is probably rooted in all of these things. But even though I’m scared, I’m also stubborn.  I’m going to battle through this, just like I’ve battled through everything else these last couple of years.  Because for all the challenges that lie ahead, I refuse to believe that I could have treaded through such deep water simply to give up. Our heroine battles through the worst experiences of her life, stands upon the precipice of utter despair, and then – throws in the towel. Now that would make a lousy movie.

If you’re anything like me – if you’re feeling overwhelmed by a big dream that you badly want to accomplish but don’t know where to start or what to do – this is what I suggest: start small. Break down your big dream into as many small tasks as you can, and just do one thing at a time. Do one small thing every day that keeps you moving forward. Don’t worry about what could go wrong in the future – it either will or it won’t and you’ll deal with it when you get there.  Just do what’s in front of you every day.

Now let’s see if I can take my own advice.

Until next time, friends.

237 thoughts on “Putting off tomorrow.

  1. @extra dry martini

    I wish we had met before. I wish I had your phone number! I wish we lived next door to each other. I would run over, call or visit ASAP. I have tears rolling down my face! I LOVE your writing it always seems to find me at the place in my life that I can’t find the words to express. I have often thought…. Oh, if I could be a writer… the story I could write and share about my own life experiences and personal struggles. Bless your heart sweet friend. Can I call you friend?

  2. Hi Sarah ~

    I can so relate, I sat with Jillian at Doe Bay and said these words (replace scenes and script with chapters ha ha, but same-same), “What the hell is my problem? This story is important to me, and I want to tell it. Yes, writing it is hard. Yes, certain scenes aren’t coming out the way I want them to, at least not yet. But I’m making everything so much harder than it needs to be with my acrobatic stalling techniques. If writing this script is the thing that matters most to me, why will I do nearly anything to avoid working on it?”

    Before Doe Bay I was all up in my way, and put so much pressure on myself. It was unreal. That workshop was the single best thing I could have done for myself. I am thankful. But gosh yes, they are on repeat in my head as I push through.

    I hear you loud and clear. You said it best, you know your resistance. You’ve battled through the past years, and you will battle through this. Thank goodness for blogs and such to blow off the steam : )

    I’m wishing you well.

    Love,

    Jen

  3. Never rush today what can be done tomorrow 🙂
    Or even better: No problem left unattended can last forever!
    🙂
    (fingers up in the air, the american way: “joke of course”)
    Hey, sometimes there are reasons. good or bad. If you don’t feel like doing something, maybe you’re just not motivated enough?
    Sometimes, you just have to kick yourself in the… and Nike-wise, “just do it!”
    Meantime: take care of yourself. That is always important.
    (Note: sometimes we postpone because we don’t like what we should do. I have a novel stopped since last year. I like the novel, but the content and the story are… hurting me in a way? I know I will get back to it and finish it. But not right now. Not in the mood!)
    Again: Be good!

  4. Great advice, you have to break the job down into small bits. Procrastination is a part of life. We all do it. Good for you going for your dream! I understand how it feels to have a dream/idea/goal you want to accomplish and for a variety of reasons you find procrastination entering the picture. Keep at it and it will come.

  5. I love your writing style and your story! You are great and your movie is going to be awesome. You have hit the nail on the head with the procrastination thing! Remember fear is the ONLY thing that truly stops us. You will figure it all out and one day we will say I remember when I found her on word press and followed her blog! One request: if you change your name to protect your identity, you have to give us a clue!! Best wishes to you, and thank you for sharing your journey here with us. I feel blessed to read your story, and have learned a lot about my journey through reading yours. The Depot of Light

  6. Sarah, this one’s for you:

    “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
    -Amelia Earhart

    Fly high, girl.

    Melanie

  7. Hello there “dyr martini”! Great to have stumbled over your blog, hope I can find you again. See, I’ve been wanting to start my own for the last couple of years, but I seem to “keep putting it off”! So i wonder if it is just a coincident one

  8. Ups!…coincident falling over your input? I too have so much i want to share, stories, adventures, my life…..so much, too much. But who knows, maybe I’m getting there, keep thinking of what to call my blog. Lucy from Dk(-;

  9. Great words. You have a gift 🙂 I dont know if you read already, but a good book is “The Art of Procrastination – John Perry”, very simple and fun words. 😀 kkkkk Bye

  10. That is beautiful and inspirational. I love to write and create. I have lots of stories fluttering in my head and I’ve procrastinated too. You are right. I’ll keep at it and not let my disappointments and loss stop me from growing internally. Thanks. I wish you an abundance of success and joy in your writing and movie making. Cheers.

  11. Thank you so much for this. Been there, done that (currently doing that, to be honest).
    Procrastination is one of the biggest setbacks I have ever encountered, and it’s extremely hard to overcome. But life has taught me that as long as you work for what you want, bit by bit you’ll get there.
    My mum would always say “Things that are meant to happen will happen, no matter what obstacles they face”. I hope your dream is one of those things, just don’t give up and give it your absolute best. We waste time easily but then again, only time itself can reward us for the things we do complete and accomplish.
    Take care and keep going x

  12. Everyone goes through a similar dilemma. As this outlines your own personal battles, it also outlines the solution to your problem. Far too often do we not take our own advice. Fear is definitely a formidable and compelling force. But what is far more powerful and potent is the love and appreciation we get from those who believe and support us. You have a goal. Follow the path you have laid down for yourself and trust that you will accomplish this, without regard to the outcome. Something to consider is the regret of not doing what your heart is set upon.

  13. Today is my very first day on the blog scene and DAMN, you just blew me away.Yeah, you’re my first ‘follow’. My youngest son committed suicide a little over a year as go and it’s been eating me alive. I was looking for a place to share my deepest thoughts and regrets and I found you. Your writing is riveting!!

    • I am so very sorry for your loss and am humbled by your kind words. Thank you. Through the darkest parts of my life, I have found that writing has been one of the few things that has helped me, because it has allowed me to look at my thoughts and feelings a bit more objectively – to get them out of me and onto the page. Finding your way back after such an incredible trauma takes time, but you can do it. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. I am wishing you well. xx

  14. Cheers to this extra kick of motivation and advice. I can relate to having ideas to bring to life and finding ways to not work on them. Glad you found a way to get around that. And good luck on the screenplay and movie.

  15. Wow! Loved this! Totally got me to realized how much I’ve been procrastinating on getting healthy and looking my best! I need to stop with the excuses! And like you said, I’ll start with small steps and hopefully have some big gain at the end!

  16. Pingback: Putting off tomorrow. – Begin Boss By Bosslee

  17. I’m liking this post, but I haven’t finished reading yet. I don’t have quite enough time right now, but I know that I’ll come back to it. You have my attention. I’ll be commenting again, I’m sure.

  18. Beautifully written! You’ve made me feel excited for you. I 100% agree about starting small. I feel so overwhelmed by all the tasks I need to complete, and I find that the only way to get anything done – write, edit, clean the kitchen, sort through baby clothes – is to set fifteen minute timers so that it doesn’t feel like too much.

  19. Procrastination often gets a bad rap. It is totally misunderstood and only gives psychologists more psychobabble to write about. They tell us that the “pleasure principle” is responsible for our procrastination and allows us to avoid negative emotions and to avoid completing frustrating chores.

    Do you think that those same psychologists never procrastinate themselves? Why do you think they are so knowledgeable about the subject?

    I call it being strategic. If the time doesn’t feel right to you then there must be a good reason why you have that feeling, no?

    There are many reasons why we procrastinate; some are valid, intelligent and some are pure bullshit. It’s hard to admit sometimes that our own laziness has got the best of us and is holding us down, or is it the fear?

    I procrastinate a lot, but I’ve still made accomplishments. And I think that’s because I’ve learned to conquer the fear of failure by being pushy and promoting myself and not worrying about what others think about me and what I write. I just do it and stick it in their face.

    Don’t worry about your procrastination – in good time it will pay off and you will be laughing about it!

    Good post!

  20. I can relate to the fear of failure thing. I’m an extreme perfectionist so I often tend to put off doing things that i dread so if it fails I’ll still have the excuse that I didn’t have enough time to do it. I know I’m a coward but I’m actually trying to get rid of it. Good luck for your project.

  21. The way you describe “procrastination”. It’s beautiful. And that essentially means I am jealous and motivated. My goal is to write as beautifully as you. It seems still have a long way to go. Thanks 🙂

  22. ” once you get through the worst part of a trauma, once you realize it won’t actually kill you, once you realize that you still care enough to pick yourself up and keep on living, you become capable of experiencing profound joy. And it’s often joy where you wouldn’t expect it: in small, seemingly insignificant moments that you never even realized were beautiful until you looked at them through the lens of loss. Even though you’re sadder and more broken, when you laugh you really mean it, and when you love you really mean it, and even though you wouldn’t wish what’s happened to you on anyone, your dirty little secret is that you don’t want to go back to the way you were before, because the old you was oblivious, fumbling around in the dark, while this you is awake to everything. And once you’ve woken up, you can’t go back to sleep.”

    I could not relate more to this post, while I have not dealt with the death of someone so close to me (and my condolences to you) I have suffered from the same sort of feelings for years. I went into a great depression at one point and when I got out of it its like I’m truly awake now. But sometimes I feel myself itching back and scared of what to do next, like you. Not saying you’re depressed. But I definitely am scared of what will result from trying to achieve my dreams. I know that giving up is the worst failure in comparison to failing after trying but this does not help. I’m glad that you put all of this into such an elegant post. I’m happy that you shared your life. Share your film to the world. We would all be happy to see it. And maybe one of us could even review it or hype it up for you 😛 lol.

  23. Hi
    I had just finished making a entry in my blog that is private because it is just for me. The entry was about my thoughts after seeing “Wild” the movie with Reece Witherspoon and how it made me feel re my past relationship and current status of my life.
    I clicked on the Reader and up popped your blog entry and your long road of pain and recovery somehow triggered in my mind and meant something.

    Thank you for that. I wish you well in your future endeavours.

    Hugs

    L

  24. We all seem to be battling against procrastination, I recently wrote a post about it and after having struggled for quite some time to describe what procrastination actually means, I came up with this: “it is a deep-seated murmur inside of us., a constant crackling noise interfering with who we really are and we really are capable of.” I guess our thoughts converge here and its a matter of working towards quietening that noise, little by little. 🙂 Either way, glad I stumbled upon your blog, your writing is honest and I shall be coming back.

  25. My advice? Stay in the present. Don’t think about the future. Whatever you think it holds, good or bad, will be different. Make a list every day and check it off. Someday you’ll be done!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Don’t forget to comment on everyone’s comments. 🙂

  26. Reblogged this on Life begins at 19! and commented:
    You’d think that by now I would have learned to not procrastinate. But I procrastinate literally every second of my life, it’s not healthy. I even procrastinate things I actually enjoy and get rewarded for. No matter what it is I’ll always find a way to procrastinate. I have a problem, and I admit to that.

  27. Loved reading your post! It really got me interested in what you were saying. Like you were in front of me, saying those things. I’m impressed. You should totally finish that script!

  28. Talk about nailing a thought! Halfway through the post I almost felt a sense of déjà vu, I could so relate to the feelings expressed here. My favorite part of all, was the ‘petulant child’ bit. I have that child within me too. Very well written!

  29. I sit here, doing the very same this evening. Procrastinating about my week, after saying I would not waste any more time on this activity which so many see as a sport. I’ve created my first blog, and this is the first post I’ve gravitated towards reading. You’ve so beautifully introduced me to the world of blogging!

  30. some people don’t realize what pain is but yet they say they feel it
    This is for the people who do. keep your head up high.not only look but feel for your future

  31. Reblogged this on Words of an E Nigma and commented:
    Everyone experiences this in some way, shape, or form. Most of us fail to express what we feel and find ourselves with a loss for words. This author outlined the very struggles most artists (if not all) experience in their daily lives. One thing is for certain, we cannot let our fears determine our life’s outcome. Take control of your lives and be that of which you desire to be most. Because if you don’t, the worst feeling to have aside from lost loves, is lost opportunity.

  32. Every small story I create starts with a link that matches/correlates to the title of my blog posts for the day. I believe in sharing other people’s thoughts and talents. So, I hope you don’t mind if I share your most recent post in my next one. It was very moving, and I wish you luck with everything.

    “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.”– Confucius

  33. You’re right. Im scared of my dream, everyone sees the changes but I give excuses, Im becoming lazy. Every time I take a huge step, I stop again, it starts to seem stupid and unrealistic and Im this same person that encourage others. I can’t even take care if myself, I feel I’d be old before I get there but not anymore, this post inspires, it makes me wanna become the Sparta in 300, failure in trying is what makes us winners. I’ll try and try and try till Im dried up. Then when Im gone, if it eventually kills me, would you please tell everyone you helped me try more and I thank you and over I make it, I guess we can have an extra dry martini In Barcelona someday. Love you.

  34. I have a big, life changing exam coming in front of me and truly speaking sometimes I think whether all my trouble is worth it…is it really that great on the other side or is it something else which I have not foreseen…thanks very you post. May you finish your film,and realise your dream.

  35. I have 300 pages written and re-written, but for some reason I have avoided working on my book for the entire month of March. Today I am pushing myself to make even the smallest attempt and that should get me going again. I was just having this exact conversation with my husband.

  36. OMG, why is it that the truth always avoids the BS, hits us right between the eyes and we think YES that’s what I should be doing! I lifted myself out of deep depression by focusing on little tasks rather than being put off by looking at the whole. Break things down into do-able chunks and we can conquer every fear. Good luck with the screenplay hope to see it one day on the big screen in 3D.

  37. Thank you so much for writing about this procrastination , of which we are all victims at some time or the other. I am neck deep in work right now and am struggling to manage my time. Your post came in handy , one at a time , break down into smaller bits……..yay ! Gonna follow it .

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  39. Very inspiring and motivating. And my personal experience is that the most significant thing which procrastinates our dream is our anticipation of the result that whether mt decision will work out to be worth in the future.

  40. Thank you so much for the lovely advice and for sharing your thoughts. I’m going through the same thing. There’s so much I wanna do. I have big dreams for myself and for this world. Most of the time it feels so daunting to take a step but oh well, time will pass anyway so why not do something worthwhile. Btw, I really love this. Keep writing! xoxo

  41. This is the story of my days and my nights.

    This is the story of my depression and my fear. This is the story of my anxiety and absolute lack of desire to put myself out there because of only the world I have created for myself of unending criticism.

    But you know what?

    You are going to do this. And it is going to be amazing.

    What’s nice is, you already have a few fans. ❤

  42. Everyone has their own style of writing a story , a memory ,a poem , etc and to be honest you’ve got a good style ….go where your heart takes you ..love ya

  43. My father used to have a saying when he was in high school back in the fifties, “why do today what you can put off till tomorrow ” and I believe to a degree that rings true in my life. To procrastinate is such an easy thing to do and I am well accomplished at it. I suppose that as long as there is a hope of “it’ll get done we can move forward” or is that a catalyst for procrastination? I must keep plugging away until one day after all the little steps I look around and see I have arrived at my dream and for me that is to write a novel.

  44. Thank you so much for sharing!!! It’s funny reading someone else’s writing and saying, yes, yes, yes, exactly,the whole time!! I agree with you that at the laugh of a person of a person who has suffered loss is so real now!! Excellent writing!!! I am encouraged to continue writing. I gotta stop procrastinating!!

  45. Hi Sarah!
    This is my first time reading your blog and WOW! You really spoke to me. I find I procrastinate on my biggest projects because those are the ones I fear (perfectionist). I’m in the process of starting my own wee little blog. Feel free to check it out: contempocora.wordpress.com
    Xo,
    Cora

  46. Thanks for posting, i m sure success is your way very soon. When ur dream is big, more difficulties come ur way but if u keep faith, you will certainly achieve ur goal, you’ll probably make some bad choices n learn from ur own mistakes. I am sure your movie is going to be a super duper hit, you’ll soon very famous, OMG, I’m already dreaming for you. All the best wishes for you, May God be with you all the way!!!! N ur mom’s blessings are with u for sure.

  47. nancirobin @extra dry martini
    I really enjoyed your blog about procrastination . It is so true , life has a habit of getting in the way of what may be your dogged intentions. And while your trying to write for a lifetime plan , the cruelty of life robs you of motivation. You are to be commended on the insight of how procrastination works in our lives.
    Eventually we have to admit there’s only go forward or stop and park it.
    When & if you finally finish something until that passes, tis true no one can project what one would feel about the outcome.
    So well explained ; however what happens when like I , you’ve been catastrophically hurt driving, by a bigger vehicle who has been in at fault 100 %. This scenario doesn’t give any choices such as going around the problem or allow any quick thinking ways to avoid the long painful future. The only thing is to go thro it , and not really know what the future is. So procrastination may make you stumble along the way and even if you’re not sure of the finished product at least you have had your dream fulfilled and a choice that you have made . Good example of life and the privilege to figure out the possibilities.

  48. I too want to be a film maker someday. Because I keep making so many films in my head. But I have no resources and family support. 😥
    So I don’t even procrastinate. I give up that is, I assume that I will fulfill my dreams only in some distant utopian land of my own — but not in this world. I also feel very guilty for not doing anything about my creativity. But I am going to try your advice. Hope it does work !
    Great post 🙂

  49. We claw our way through this strugglesome life ups and downs,we keep pucking ourselves off of the ground,we encounter walls built with force and we fight against its evil source.we tear away at the bricks, heavy as our hearts remembering those before us who done their part. Once in awhile we see a glimpse what’s on the other side,no one can stop us from what God created and though my fingers bleed this wall will be devistated

  50. I’m only a 2 months into grieving over the loss of my mom. I lost my dad 7 months earlier. Easter will be the first holiday without them. Last year we were all together and this year they are gone. I’m glad to hear you have been awakened to what matters. I firmly believe that loss & pain can make us stronger, better, and more loving. I look forward to your movie!!

    Have you read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird? It’s a must read for writers.

    • I’m so sorry for your losses Marie. I agree with you 100%. Loss and pain do make us see life through a different lens, and makes us realize how beautiful and precious it is. Can you believe I have not read Bird by Bird? It’s on my list! I just finished Small Victories and I loved it. Wishing you well!

  51. I’ve learned to feel a little differently about procrastination, especially with regards to writing or crafting projects. I used to hate myself for putting off what needed to be done. But one day it dawned on me — I’m not actually neglecting the project. It’s always on my mind. I’m constantly considering word choice, pondering various approaches to an introduction or conclusion, questioning my own facts — or, in the case of a craft project, looking in my mind at the pieces I need, assembling and rearranging, combining colors. I’ve learned I NEED time away from projects to let them ripen in my mind. After some time away, I sit down at the keyboard and enter a frenzy of writing, revising, editing that I simply wasn’t ready for earlier. I don’t know if that’s also the case with you, but for me, I’ve learned to accept procrastination as an integral part of my work process.

  52. When I first saw this Fresh Pressed post I immediately decided to revisit once again and have just now come back for a second time to actually read. Yes, I am a master procrastinator but luckily always end up completing the task at hand – if at the thirteenth hour. I actually end up doing my finest work at the last minute. I penned both my parents obituaries the night before their services and can honestly say did them both justice in both humorous and touching tributes. Before I actually began writing I talked about doing it for years. And I mean years. I would run into people I had not encountered in ages and they would always ask “so have you written anything yet?” When my husband would call me from work to ask if I was working on my writing I never did have the heart to tell him that I had just spent the entire morning stalking a wild pheasant who appeared in our yard daily with a bag of bird seed, hoping to lure him closer to my bedroom window (it worked by the way). And I too like your screenplay, have that yet to be written story which in my mind is the best piece that I have ever written. So good for that matter, that I even imagine it being Fresh Pressed! It is about my next door neighbor from childhood who I decided to try to find recently even though she would be close to one hundred years old today. I found her by the way but can’t tell you the rest. I will just put it off for another day when you have more time between reading your comments. 🙂

  53. I am a TERRIBLE procrastinator. I always have been. It’s like a curse or something. I will literally figure out a million different things to do instead of what I should actually be doing.

    So, I feel Ya. It’s tough. The way I tend to look at it nowadays is that there is always tomorrow. 🙂

    Jillian

  54. I can not express in words how relatable this article is! I have big dreams and plans, but when I think about actually putting those to practice, I procrastinate day after day, week after week, year after year… you get what I mean right?
    This post has inspired me to just start, start now with baby steps, and not give a damn about what others may think, will I fail, etc. Amazing piece 🙂

  55. The way you write this post with such determination in your voice proves you will do it! This post was definitely something I needed to read today – thank you for motivating me to give my self a big kick up the bum 🙂 will be following for more! Love the way you write, have a wonderful Easter – Amy

  56. The trick would be to encapsulate a toddler’s playtime. A child at play doesn’t see it as work or effort. A child lost in their own world of play loses sense of time, doesn’t think of consequences, time constraints or internal pressures and squabbles. The child at play has simplified life into a bubble that needs no management or effort. Of course, this state of relaxed focus is commonly known in sporting circles as being ‘in the zone.’ A state of perfect mediated focus, not concentration. Concentration can be detrimental and paradoxically defocusing.
    I always like to refer to my maxim in these cases: nothing IS possible. (Doing nothing makes it so)
    Good luck with your film.

  57. Thank you. I am very happy at “this moment, this one, right now”, I stumbled upon you. This scenario resonates within me as well. Through you I see hope. Hope it starts with taking more action. You are inspiring to us who are starting a journey to escape the shell which life enveloped us in somewhere along the way.

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  59. Condolence there my friend! I’m glad I take my time to read this which really captivates me. You can inspire a lot of people through your words. Keep it up!

  60. @extra dry martini
    What a fantastic post. So familiar, and what a battle it is. I hope I get to watch your movie some day 🙂

  61. I struggle with this, too, from time to time. For me the problem stems from two things: 1. Distractions like “platform building” and email. 2. An immediate lack of a “great” idea that brings enthusiasm for inclusion in the current point at which the novel is stopped.

    A book that has helped me with the first item is: “Make a Killing on Kindle,” by Alvear, in which he makes a convincing case against most of the elements of platform building, such as developing a following on Twitter and Facebook.

    Regarding the second thing: I’ve found it helpful to “write from anger” (as Lamott suggests in “Bird by Bird”) and to ignore the false notion that “good” fiction must never be preachy or contain a message that you might enjoy beating someone over the head with. Sounds radical, maybe, but I toned it down in a post or two entitled, “Medicine for Writer’s Block,” and “Never Bore the Writer.” In those posts, the idea is hopefully modified enough to be useful to writers who are more literary and artful than I am.

    Best of luck with your work,
    Talmage
    http://www.storiform.com

  62. Reblogged this on Settled. and commented:
    “You see, once you get through the worst part of a trauma, once you realize it won’t actually kill you, once you realize that you still care enough to pick yourself up and keep on living, you become capable of experiencing profound joy.”

    I’m not on the other side and I don’t know if I’ll every find that joy she speaks of. That’s what makes me scared to wake up tomorrow. I don’t want to be sad, but I have no idea how to find joy.

    • I empathize. Keep going. You are doing better than you think. Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is something to celebrate. Volunteering is something that has helped me – giving my time to help someone else who really needs it takes me out of myself and makes me realize that as bad as my problems seem there is always someone who has it much worse. Hang in there – you can do this. xx

  63. Hi. I just finished reading your blog. It’s very inspirational. I had just sign up in wordpress hour ago, and I guess this is a small step to achieving my BIG DREAM. I had been wanting to write blogs years ago, but I was too afraid I might not be able to even write a simple one. But I do love writing. It had been my escape and it comforts me whenever I am able to write down what boggles my mind ( even if t may appears senseless). Your blog is my very first read in WordPress, and you really inspired me!

  64. Hi I am Also a procrastinator but think it’s just for today. Today I will focus on doing my job, studying and working out and following my food plan. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow so why procastinate? I think planning is positive but pricastination takes away positive energy and the more positive thoughts you have more good things will happen to you

  65. I have just come across your blog post and I tell you, you are spot on. As someone who likes to encourage people, I have fought procrastination every step of the way. I found that spooling your positive energy by remembering whats important works for me most times………. Great post!

  66. I just want to say that this is such a great post! Like seriously! I feel like this was written just for me because I have problems with procrastinating, finding words, and not to mention, I have had an idea for a book that I would like to write and have been holding onto for almost a year now. I have never been much of a writer, besides essays and reports for school, but I have always gotten compliments on my writing, and have always wanted to try venturing out and trying to write something like a book, even if its not for publishing and just a project for myself. After reading your post, I am feeling a little bit more inspired and motivated to do it. So thank you!

  67. Really liked your post! It felt as though you are talking to me. I am a procrastinator myself and this blog made me sit down and figure out why. I enjoyed the post.

  68. You guys! Thank you. I am completely overwhelmed – in a good way – by all of these amazing comments and words of encouragement and support. I want to write every single one of you personally but there simply isn’t time. Please know that I read every word and I appreciate them so much. It’s so easy to defer our dreams. Taking positive steps in the right direction is much more difficult. But I don’t want to come to the end of my life and regret all the things I didn’t do, the risks I didn’t take, the life I didn’t live. I hope we can all be brave together. I promise to keep you updated with regular posts about my journey and I hope you’ll keep in touch with me.
    xo
    Sarah

  69. We often sacrifice the most important things to accomodate the most comfortable ones. Like putting off on developing that skill because the road ahead seems cloudy. But hey, catching up on some series is so relaxing. Especially in a mildly chaotic life. Gary Vaynerchuk says it bluntly “Stop focusing on Dumb Sh!t”. Thanks for a great piece

  70. Great piece. When I wrote about productivity on my blog (have a read if you like), I suggested working to pre-determined periods of time. Whether they are one minute blocks or ten minute blocks, the point is to focus for short bursts and not let anything distract you during those precious minutes. That’s my way of breaking down the bigger goals like you suggest.

  71. Reblogged this on makimolapo and commented:
    This is what I go through everyday and I make the excuse that “I work better under pressure” which is quite contradictory to the fact that I am quite a perfectionist. I think I should try starting small too, maybe my work, which will ultimately contribute immensely to my BIG dream, will turn my dream into a perfect reality.

  72. Such a beautifully written post and so true. I know you will be a successes in life just from how you write with such eloquence and thought 😀 Good luck with everything xxx

  73. I’m always surprised where I find pieces of myself from day to day. So today I found your blog luckily. And I have to say that you took a lot of the words out of my mouth concerning the worry that people will like what I write. I have been doing the same in trying to find my voice concerning my writing as well. It’s not easy. But I keep trying. And I keep building story lines, luckily I think I finally found one that I am satisfied with. I wish you the best in your journey…and just from the few blogs that I did read from you, you write exceptionally well. Take care and keep writing.

  74. Pingback: Words: a Love Story. | Extra Dry Martini

  75. We in this country worry too much about filling our time with doing. There is beauty in stepping back and just being alive and aware. As they say in meditative circles: Don’t just do something, sit there.

  76. Pingback: Ten thousand. | Extra Dry Martini

  77. Wow, I do not know if this comment would even be noticed among many others, and I am sure quite a few have told you how much this post related to them in a way. It does for me too. The part in which you described the dark place after your mom passed away (I am sorry to hear); I think every words have caught the my vibe exactly. I have been through back and forth; and now I am rather back again; and not sure when it will be time I reach the phase I realize this does not ACTUALLY kill me. However so, I have personally experiences in a way the phase we manage to crawl out into a lighter phase. Every little small things was meaningful; and we try to hold onto that since it has been not easy for us to capture such a happiness and we are afraid to return being the old version.
    I would just want to share these short texts, as it always feel strange in a good way, talking to (or in this case: reading) your life but from a different person’s perspective.

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