Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't prolong the torture

Isn't it funny how we put things off, thinking they will be time consuming and difficult? Over a year ago, I signed up for a writing course through Long Ridge Writer's group. I loved it. I learned so much and moved quickly through the assignments.

As time went on, the assignments became longer and a bit more intricate. Then, last fall, WiDo Publishing bought my novel. Everything in my life picked up speed and I took a leave of absence from my writing course so I could get through Christmas with one less thing on my plate.

I knew my leave of absence was ending soon and I dreaded it. I knew these next few assignments (and I mean only a very few until I'm done) felt overwhelming to me with everything else I have to do.

Well, I have this two month break right now while I wait for my editor to go over my latest revisions. It would be the perfect time to get those assignments done. Still I procrastinated, doing ANYTHING else.

Finally, Long Ridge sent me an email this week telling me my time was up, which I already knew. I forced myself to sit down and complete the assignment I'd already started last fall. It was SO easy. What was I so stressed about? With everything I've learned up until now, the assignment was a breeze. Here's what it was. Write a scene, create a one page synopsis about what I want the rest of the story to be, pick a magazine I'd send it to if I wanted to really publish it, and then fax it to the school. Here's the funny part. I'd already written the entire (short) story last fall! All I had to do was clean it up, and write the summary. That is two assignments done right there.

Here I'd spent all winter dreading this and it literally took me less than a hour to complete. My word, the things we do to torture ourselves.

Here is the moral to the story. Nothing is as bad as it looks. Things don't always take longer than we think and most of the time, it's not as hard as we envision it to be. Remember that, and get to work!


KarenG said...

Omigosh I do this kind of thing all the time and then I think I don't procrastinate. HA!

Theresa Milstein said...

I do things like that all of the time! Almost nothing is worth procrastinating because the anxiety it causes is way worse than the task itself.

I'm glad you got the assignment done.

Chantele said...

Hey! I swear I had your e-mail at one time, but I can't find it... Anyway, I have a few questions about Long Ridge Writer's classes. I just wanted to know pricing and what I have to do to enroll. I'm not sure if I really want to do it yet, but if you think it's worth it, then I would love some information.:) My e-mail is channywax(at)hotmail(dot)com. Thanks!!

Old Kitty said...


good for you!!! Sometimes I stress about something so much I make myself ill. It's only when I let go and take a breather and bake something or go for a walk to calm down that I begin to see a tiny chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Then all I have to do is focus on that light. Then wonder what I was fretting about when the task is done!

Thank you for this great reminder.

Take care

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm a professional procrastinator. ;)

Julie Musil said...

Good for you, jumping in and getting it done! You're so right, procrastinating is worse that just doing it.

Angie Paxton said...

I do this almost every time I work on my WIP. I dread it and put it off and worry about doing it. Then I sit down and start to type and usually two sentences in the words are flowing and I'm usually enjoying myself and before I know it two or three hours have passed.

Talli Roland said...

So true! I am like that over the littlest things! I buy a card then take a month to post it; or put off cleaning out the closet, or something which really can be done in a short period of time. Thanks for the reminder to stop torturing myself and just *do* it!

Anonymous said...

I didn't pause my course because of being published but I did pause it because I wanted to get on and write the book! Maybe I'll take it up again once the book is published; that's if it ever is of course!!

Great blog.
CJ xx

Kate said...

I do that, too. However currently I'm taking an online writing course and yesterday I fell asleep while reading the assignment. Sitting at the computer. In the middle of the day. Maybe I need a break so the adrenaline can kick in and keep me awake to finish!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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