The Predicament of Procrastination

ujulia - SCWW
By Julia Rogers Hook
Columbia II Chapter/SCWW Vice President 
If Shakespeare had had social media we might have never known Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet or even the ever-charming MacBeth.
Email during the time of Dickens would have left the miserly Scrooge and sweet Tiny Tim buried forever with dear Charlie.
I just imagine such greats as Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne scribbling by candlelight with their quills and ink pots and wonder what they would think of today’s fledgling writers like myself who are so easily distracted with posting photos of vacations or cute little pet tricks.
Today with the most modern techniques for writing at our fingertips, I can’t imagine how the scribes of yesteryear did it. With no electricity, no copy and paste and…oh merciful heavens, no spell check, these authors of classics sat in their drafty homes creating treasured stories with nothing more than a candle and their imaginations.
And yet I seem to always find myself procrastinating when it comes to writing.
I’m always in awe of my colleagues as they doggedly do whatever it takes to get their work out there and get their pieces published. I’m always happy for them, overjoyed, even. But I can’t help wondering how they do it when I seem to have so much trouble getting myself to “buckle down” and really concentrate on my writing.
“WHERE do they find the time,” I think to myself.
Do they get up early? Go to bed later? Write in the middle of the night? Go to coffee shops? Perhaps lock themselves away in a tower? These are published authors but they aren’t hermits. They have spouses and children and jobs.
They must know something that I don’t.
Are they perhaps members of a big underground club that I’ve not been invited to join?
Maybe there’s a secret formula or even a covert password or clandestine handshake that grants them passage into some writers’ version of a VIP lounge?
But I know the truth.
They simply make their writing a priority in their lives. They, as the shoe company says, “just do it.”
And they do it one page at a time or probably even sometimes one sentence at a time.
They write.
And review it and edit it and then rewrite it.
If we have 12-step programs for alcohol, drugs, gambling and even over-eaters, maybe we should come up with something for procrastinating writers. I’d be one of the charter members and even get there early to start the coffee and bring the cookies. I can see us all sitting in our circle of chairs and each person “shares” their tales of why they can’t get started on their book.
Of course…we could also all use that time to stay home and write instead of moaning about why we aren’t working couldn’t we?
“Hello…my name is Julia and I’m a procrastinator.”
Julia Rogers Hook comes to Columbia, SC after almost 30 years of life in Los Angeles where she worked as a journalist in radio, television, magazines and newspapers. She covered local politics, community events and national news such as the 2000 Alaskan Flight 261 plane crash off the coast of Ventura, CA and the 911 bombings. She also taught courses in broadcast writing at PierceCollege in Woodland Hills, CA.

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