Jan 13, 2012

We're All Still Teens...A Little

This week, at my job, I started the task of teaching 17 year olds how to write a thesis statement.  Now granted, they have been learning how to write thesis statements since at least middle school if not sooner, but as soon as I tell them they need to write one, you would naturally think they were being attacked by Darth Vader, Voldemort and Satan - at the same time.

Sure, we would all like to think we are more mature than that, but let's be honest.  There are LOTS of things adults have to do, and sometimes even more than writers have to do, that make us want to just whine.  And sigh. And roll our eyes.  Sometimes all at once.

However, most of the students at least *try* to write a thesis because they care about their grade, and I tell them they will never have success in college if they can't.  So we need to do the same.

And as of the timing of this post, there isn't a computer that can re-arrange words from the way they are in our heads to the screen automatically.  Could change in five minutes, but somehow I just don't think so.

So, write down all the things you need to do with your WIP - yup, even the hard ones.  Find that inspirational music.  And, if you are like me, that calorie infused inspiration (mmm....chocolate covered cinnamon bears).  Because the desire to procrastinate the hard stuff doesn't get easier just because it sits there longer.  It's not like meat in a marinade.

It's like meat on the counter.

In the summer.

In Arizona.

And your A/C just broke.

You have to act now or the maggots will show up.

What are the hard things about writing that you put off?  What have you done to fight the procrastination villain?  


Miranda Hardy said...

I put off revising and editing. I have made deadlines for my works and that seems to be helping.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a disgusting image!
If I can get it on paper, editing is easy.

S.P. Bowers said...

They have chocolate covered cinnamon bears???

Procrastination? Who me?

Jillian said...

I've been trying to take my own teaching advice lately too, mostly of the "focus on practicing instead of wasting time doubting yourself" variety. Not procrastinating on the hard stuff is excellent advice too, since I seem to be doing it every third scene or so right now. And "You have to act now or the maggots will show up" ... Didn't I see that embroidered on a motivational pillow somewhere? ;-P

J. A. Bennett said...

editing. and I'm still procrastinating!

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

Maturity is simply the point in time when knowledge and reason override impulse and allow you to make informed decisions. I think that's why so many of us realize that when we are older there are still so many similarities to the person that we once were.

M.J. Fifield said...

I used to teach high school English. I am oh so familiar with the thesis statement moans and groans.

I had a similar reaction to writing a synopsis for my MS. In order to fight the procrastination villain, I told myself if I didn't meet my deadline, I could read nothing but Jane Austen novels (which I don't particularly care for) until I was finished.

It was very motivating.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I'm getting up and writing before anything else. I'm behind on "roaming" the tubes of the Internt, but I have the beginnings of a draft.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Interesting how most people seem to say editing and revising. That's my favorite part!

The hardest part for me is putting new words on a page -- especially the beginning of chapters (unless the chapter picks up mid-scene after a cliff-hanger in the last chapter).

Michelle Gregory said...

procrastination - my evil nemesis.

Tara Tyler said...

wow, what frightening & motivational words!

time to get to work!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Hahaha! I loved this! Especially your analogy.

Hmmm. Well, it was the query. Then the synopsis. Now... Hm. I guess it's all the odds and ends things that I need to do to my blog that just take time. Time, and mental energy. Yep. Definitely procrastinating that.

Cortney Pearson said...

Gotta have the calories! Mine is those iced animal cookies with the sprinkles. Yum. My biggest procrastination-causer right now is the plot. I thought I had it figured out and wrote an entire book (57k words) going in one direction only to realize it's not working and to make my story better I've got to let it go a different way. I've tried working on it lately, but I just can't get into it.