Yesterday, I spent an hour avoiding a task. In fact, I’d been avoiding this task for days. What was it that had me cleaning floors and checking Facebook? I had to write a synopsis for my latest manuscript. One of the ways I avoided writing the synopsis was by analyzing why I hate writing them so much. I mean, I’d rather pen a 300-page novel than a 3-page synopsis, which proves there’s something seriously wrong with me. The word insane comes to mind.
So what’s my problem? I have a few theories:
- I don’t like the constraints of a synopsis, having to fit a 400-page story into 3-5 pages.
- I don’t like the way I have to use my words sparingly, eliminating all the uniqueness and creativity from my writing.
- I don’t like the straightforward way in which the story is told, beginning, middle, and [gasp] end, which removes all the mystery.
All great excuses…er, reasons to avoid writing a synopsis. But none of those excuses tells the whole story. I don’t like to write synopses because they’re hard. And as much as I hate vacuuming, at least it’s easy. As tired as I am of cooking dinner for my family after 21 years of marriage, I can practically do it with my eyes closed. But writing a synopsis—that takes serious work, serious effort, serious concentration.
So what’s the conclusion after all this self-analysis? Deep down where I don’t like to look, I’m just lazy. I want to take the easy road. I want to, but usually, eventually, I do the right thing. So after all that ugly self-analysis (which is also easier than writing a synopsis), I wrote the stupid thing. Now I can move on to the easy stuff. (Facebook, anyone?)
Tweetable: Why do you procrastinate? Is it pure laziness? Click to Tweet
How about you? What tasks do you avoid?
What are your favorite procrastination techniques? (I’m collecting ideas for the next time.)
Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. She is the author of two books, Faith House and One Christmas Eve, both Christmas stories. Read excerpts and find out more at her website.