How to avoid procrastinating

Posted: April 5, 2013 in Details about my books, Writing Stuff
Tags: , , , , , ,

Greatest reason to procrastinate

In all honesty, the picture above is really quite appealing to me right now. But, I don’t think I’ll make a lot of progress into my career as a writer if I always look to that picture for advice. So, the story today is how to avoid procrastinating.

I have to say, procrastinating is one of the most enjoyable things to do. I’m not even exaggerating here. You can do lots of things when you’re not writing. The problem is when you do so much other stuff that you don’t actually write. At all. This happens to me quite often, but I normally catch myself procrastinating before the day is over. I always feel like I have two personalities. There’s the one that wants to write, and then there’s the one that wants to watch Tv. I like the latter persona a lot more, to be honest. It’s not that writing cannot be fun, but you reach a certain point where you just want to stop looking at a blank page. And start looking at the antics of the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or see what Walt and Jesse do next. (By the way, go watch Breaking Bad right now, if you haven’t.)

But, at the end of the day, after a hard war has been fought, the annoying personality wins. Ugh! You see, my philosophy is that there doesn’t need to be a purpose to do anything, but having a purpose to do anything is a lot more fun. Super fun. My first book, Xenon Bane… While it wasn’t good, I did finish it. I worked on it for a year, and I finished it. I loved it like it was a part of myself, and now I hate it like it’s a mistake I made in the past. But, I did learn one thing about procrastination while working on it so many years ago. (Uh, Jian, that was four years ago…)

Pick a goal, stick to it, and let your brain and hands do the rest for you. For example, in my juvenile mind, I imagined defeating this author, Christopher Paolini. You see, Christopher Paolini wrote his book at the age of fifteen, but I didn’t really like Eragon. So, my goal was to write a better book ( from my PoV and taste, of course ) and do it before the age of fifteen. I finished my first book at eleven, started another book, and got to a hundred pages before moving unto my next work. The third story I started has to be my favorite. The City of Crime ( my second work ) was my take on Asian gangsters. But my third book, the Line of Corruption, was my take on fantasy and life as a whole. However, at the middle of the book, I started procrastinating. A lot. As in, I stopped writing for about four months. Didn’t do anything in that entire four months. It wasn’t like I was busy with school, even. I just didn’t write.

And when I finally came back, I’d forgotten the plot, and even the purpose of my characters. It was terrible, really. I then realized that I needed a new goal. After Xenon Bane, my original goal had been accomplished. It was done. Yet, when I thought about it, I did not write a better book than Eragon. A devious grin appeared on my face as I realized that my original goal could still be utilized, and I worked incredibly hard on my book until I was satisfied with it. That’s how I knew when I was past the original goal. When I finished my book, waited a few months, and I still looked at it fondly. With Xenon Bane, I was fond of it when I was finished it, but three months later, I never wanted to see it again.

So, Christopher Paolini, I owe you a lot. You literally got me to write my first two books. Also, interesting fact. At the time, I thought Paolini wrote Eragon at the age of fourteen, even though he actually wrote it at fifteen. So, when I was thirteen, I felt like the clock was ticking. So, I have never written as much as I did when I thought I would not be able to achieve my goal. Then I found out that I had another year. I literally finished my book a few weeks before turning fourteen. In all honesty, I would’ve liked to finish it about a second before midnight on my birthday. That would have been very dramatic, and I am pretty sure there would be a movie based on my story, if so.

What I wanted to say is: Find a goal, stick to it, and yeah. That’s how I avoid procrastinating too badly, and get to writing. I’m not saying you do the same as me, and have a “battle” with an author that doesn’t know you exist, of course. That works for me, and it may not work for you. I suggest you find a goal that suits you and do that. Whether your goal is: “I will finish this and rub it into the face of my English teacher who said I was horrible at writing,” or, “I will finish this to get rich and get my own mansion.”

Like I said, whatever works for you. All I know is that my old goal worked for me. Right now, my goal for writing is to get published and to take it from there. Although, my overall goal is for ten people that aren’t really close friends or relatives to read my book and like it. That would be, quite simply, great. Now, I’m going to write the third chapter of my story, Radio Silence. I’ll see you next time.

P.S: I really enjoyed writing this post. I didn’t actually find that picture myself, and it was actually forwarded to me as a suggestion. I like talking about my process a lot (as you’ve all noticed from my dreadfully long ramblings), and I really love it when people Like and Comment and Follow. I’d really appreciate if you did all three. Thanks to everyone that liked my last post and then followed and then commented. That was pretty great of everyone. Thanks again!

~J.A. Romano

  1. dotdotquote says:

    ^ that’s pretty much me, except replacing cartoonists with writer/graphic designer and World of Warcraft with every game ever.

    *head hits desk*

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Love that pic. : ) I sympathize, though. Television has this evil hold over me and tries everything in its power to prevent me from writing. It’s a long and ongoing battle. xD

      • dotdotquote says:

        Ah, I’m lucky in a sense that I live in the UK – a kingdom founded on the premise of shite TV (or it might as well be).

      • dotdotquote says:

        Also, Paolini only became an author at 15 because his parents owned a small publishing company (and he was later picked up by a bigger publisher through that). Honestly though? The book is awful, awful, awful; he writes obliviously with no awareness of character, plot or syntax. While it’s inspiring he wrote a book at 15 (and I admit I was semi-jealous myself, being his age when Eragon was published) I can’t say I’d ever want to switch places. If having parents in publishing meant producing a book in similar quality to Eragon…I’d have to pass.

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Yeah. Think he only got published by a big agency ’round his early twenties. But yeah, I didn’t care for Eragon, either, but I like the determination he had in getting his book out there. I can’t say the same for any part of Eragon, but still. xD

      Funny you mention terrible Tv, I’ve been watching all kinds of Tv shows lately. Mostly American, British, and from time to time, Korean. And Japanese. Seen some pretty bad stuff, in my experience. : )

  2. tktrian says:

    Nice post, I hope you’ll beat Paolini! (never read Eragon. I’m afraid it’s too… nice to my taste)To be honest, I feel like I’m procrastinating when I do write. I mean, I have a job, I’ve got my studies, so when I’m writing with T, I’m like, “I should be planning an English class or writing my research paper or doing research for my research, but I’m actually planning combat tactics!” Speaking of novels written in early teens: I wrote a pony book around the age of 11 — horrible! — and from 13-14 I wrote a fantasy novel with my friend, though I ended up finishing it cos she got bored. It’s also horrible! But what you’ve produced at 13-14, is waaaaaaaaaay better than any of that crap from my youth. So you have great chances at becoming a future fantasy superstar, considering at how early age you started writing seriously!
    – K

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Thanks a lot. Yeah, when I was even younger, I started writing with a friend. He actually knew a thing or two about writing, but I dragged him down with my lame writing. Eventually, I just grew bored of being terrible, and tried incredibly hard to be better at it. Hope I’ve kind of succeeded. xD

  3. C.Hill says:

    Paolini was actually one of my inspirations as well. But my procrastination problem is from the sheer thought of procrastination. If the statement “I become wiser with age” is true, then I will procrastinate to become wiser. Strange, I know.

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Well, each writer has their own way of procrastinating. My sister, when I was younger, used to tell me about Paolini all the time, and I really thought he was awesome for writing a book at the age of fourteen.

      When I procrastinate, however, it lasts for over a week, so it’s a real danger for me to start procrastinating when it comes to my writing. xD

      Thanks for Liking and Commenting.

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