I don’t really know what to blog about this week. So, that is going to be the topic of my blog post: what to do when the well is dry but you’re staring at a deadline and you can hear it swiftly whooshing by.
I’ve been dealing with this thing lately where I write the story in my head and then never quite get to the of being seated with my fingers making clacking sounds on the keyboard. Sometimes, there’s less clacking and more napping. The more napping, the more anxious I become about said looming deadline, and the more I question if I’m cut out for this field. After consulting my therapists, Ben and Jerry, and my psychiatrist, Dove Caramel Milk Chocolate (she’s sensitive about her complicated name), I decide it might be a good idea to start typing something.
At this point, I’ve built the story up in my head to be this looming, massive worry and I don’t know what to do with it. Seeing that Ben, Jerry and Dove Chocolate are no longer available resources, I usually consult other writers for some advice by Googling “procrastination advice”. I am aware that reading also constitutes not doing what I’m supposed to being doing, but at least it isn’t worth any calories.
I’ve come across several articles that are actually quite helpful; they are from other nerdy journos like me, who generally care about their work but are plagued by its workload. Jennifer Blanchard, a writing coach from New York, compiled a list of articles written by other procrastinators about why procrastinating is not fun and how to avoid it.
They are titled things like, “10 Ways of Thinking that Lead to Procrastination” and “Things Procrastinations Fear.” Try deadlines. And editors.
As a disclaimer, I wasn’t always a procrastinator. I’m usually not. And when I say procrastinate, I mean I’m not following my previous standards of getting things done. I like to be ahead of a deadline by at least two days, but since I’ve started working on stories that affect me emotionally and personally, I don’t know what to do with them. And thus begins the cycle of visiting my counselors in my fridge. I’m OK when I have to write about art events and concerts or even a light fender bender, but when it comes to a tumultuous, heart-wrenching story, I’m paralyzed. The only problem is this is what I want to do with my life, and I can’t afford a lifetime supply of Ben and Jerry’s services.