Sunday, April 04, 2010


procrastinate: delay or postpone action; put off doing something

delay, put off doing something, postpone action, defer action, be dilatory, use delaying tactics, stall, temporize, drag one's feet/heels, take one's time, play for time, play a waiting game

I scroll through the dictionary definition and the thesaurus entries for procrastinate trying to decide why I haven't opened a file of a work in progress or even begun a new effort. For weeks my characters were stuck in limbo. Ellen and Jack toured Paris in never ending rounds getting nowhere. My imagination failed to move them, make them grow, or achieve their desires. 

I went to bed at night letting the possibilities play on my mind screen, boring myself with repetition and tedium. Nothing upped the tension or sparked interest. Jack had a problem and a goal, but Ellen, my heroine, needed more depth. This mind play went on, and on, and on, and on until I put the draft aside. It loitered in the documents folder, today's bottom drawer. 

A flash of inspiration appeared in the form of a quotation that suggested not only a theme for my work, but also a means of increasing the complexity and angst of my heroine. I opened the draft and read with a new perspective. The notes accumulated for adding intrigue and intricacy to my characters and plot.

I prefer to think that this period of non-writing was not procrastination in a bad sense, but rather a period of simmering the many strands that mix, combine, and juxtapose to form a creative work. Sooooooo, I'm back at the keyboard writing the next chapter.