The Journey to Publication · Writing

On Procrastination, Courage, and Pushing Yourself

Today I am home alone earlier than usual since despite my desire to run away, I’m being good and staying to work. And think about why I want to run away, and what that means.

Are the waters really this rough, or does your fear tell you they are?
Are the waters really this rough, or does your fear tell you they are?

See, I’ve been working on a monster revision for the book-that-won’t-die, and now that it’s done–even by my self-imposed deadline of the end of October–the next step I promised myself was submission. A lot of submission.

And yet I hesitate. And I wonder: is it ready? Am I ready? Maybe I should wait. Maybe I should do this. Maybe I should run away and go do something easier. πŸ˜‰ Yes, it would be easier and less scary to say I’ll wait until “tomorrow” before I start the whole submission and query process. But will tomorrow actually be the day after today, or will I end up with a long series of broken promises?

Which is why I know I have to submit today. Maybe not to everyone, maybe not the really big submission that has my knees trembling, but at least some of them. It needs to happen today, not some nameless tomorrow. And I’m the one who has to push myself because it doesn’t matter as much to anyone else.

What’s the worst that could happen?

No, seriously, I understand that as a writer we can take “what if” to catastrophic heights, but by pushing myself, what’s the worst that can happen? I get rejected. Then I pick myself up, and move on. Try again. I won’t die. No one I love will be harmed in the act. πŸ˜‰

So, is there something you’re putting off because it scares you? If you hold of until “tomorrow,” will you actually do it tomorrow? Play the what-if game just a little bit, just long enough to consider what’s worse: the fear, or the actual consequences. And if the actual consequences aren’t that bad, then give yourself that loving kick in the posterior, and do what needs to be done.

I’m right there with you. And in the end, it’ll be okay. Promise. πŸ™‚

So, is there something you’ve been putting off? Why? And will you join me today in standing up, putting on your Captain Brave suit and getting to it?

Thanks so much for reading, happy writing out there, and be brave this week. See what happens. πŸ™‚

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2 thoughts on “On Procrastination, Courage, and Pushing Yourself

  1. Yes. I’m with you on this – completely! I have been pushing myself to finish a novella for our in-chapter contest, due this Saturday. And the rough draft is finished, but I’m finding the revisions and polishing really daunting. I second guess myself at every word. Maybe I should read, ‘The First Five Pages’ before going any further? And how do I express emotion when their hands touch – not really by accident?
    Aargh! Maybe I should go for a walk first? It’s actually sunny out this morning, unusual in November here on soggy Vancouver Island. Yet that’s not going to get my novella ready for submission by Friday. I know what I have to do – write the synopsis, then I may see the loopholes I’ll need to fix in my plot. Thanks for the gentle push, and good luck with your submission process.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Helena. πŸ™‚ The polish and the revision can be daunting, especially when you’re really close to the work. Going through the synopsis is a great idea. And maybe you have a trusted critique partner who might be able to take a peek? I know that second-guessing-everything feeling, and it sucks. At some point, you’ll reach the point where you’ll only be doing small tinkering (because all the big picture stuff is done), and usually that mean it’s done, and you have to let it go (even if that’s terrifying). You can do it! Best of luck meeting your submission goals for Friday. And a walk outside, especially when you’re really frustrated, definitely isn’t against the rules. πŸ™‚ And now, ahem, better get to my submissions. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the luck.

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