The Difference between Procrastinating and Waiting

It’s taken me this long, 10+ years since I started writing again, to mostly be able to tell the difference between procrastinating and waiting.

Procrastinating is when I have something to write, but it feels too hard, or I’m being lazy, or I just can’t get started (because writing is scary, yo!).

Waiting is when things need time to come together in my mind, thought A colliding with thought T; the idea for a scene that’s not quite right yet because I’m looking at it wrong or because it’s default, it’s boring, it needs to be turned on its head or twisted 30 or 125 degrees before it’s right for what I’m working on; or it’s something I’ve got wrong and until I figure out what it is and go back and fix it, I can’t go forward.

The things I do when I’m procrastinating look very, very similar to what I’m doing when I’m waiting, but the internal feeling is very different. If I’m procrastinating there’s an edge of irritation, of impatience, directed at myself, that I’m not writing and I should be writing. It might take a bit for me to notice, acknowledge and act on it, but it’s there.

When I’m waiting, I have to wait. I can’t rush it. I can’t force it. I can coax it, by feeding the garden inside me where my writing comes from, by reading fiction and non-fiction and watching TV (sometimes really great fiction and TV, sometimes really bad fiction and TV), exercising, hanging out with friends. Whatever fills the well.

Sometimes I still get it wrong. Sometimes I’m procrastinating when I think I’m waiting, and vice versa. But slightly more often than not, I’m finally figuring it out.

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777 Challenge

I’ve just been tagged by Alison Cherry to do the 777 Challenge. The rules: post seven sentences of your work, start on page seven, seven lines down. The following is from my inspired by the Byzantine Empire meets 1910s suffrage NYC meets bio-based technology science fantasy that may or may not be YA:

My grin felt like it would break my face. “We won!” I shouted at him and his face did crack, his mouth and eyes open wide, his usually unflappable bay mare jigging under him. I allowed myself to believe it was surprised amazement but a cold worm of worry turned over in my stomach. “I told you,” I crowed, “I told you I could win.”

“What have you done?” He shouldered into me and seized Red Nettle’s reins, pulling cruelly at his mouth to halt him, and that more than anything brought home to me the depth of his horror. Magister Peres did not abuse his horses. Ever.

I’m tagging Casey Blair, Tam MacNeil and Shawn Anderson, but only if they want to play.

Random Excerpt from my WIP

Just because. (Or because I’m procrastinating.)

With a Shield, a person could not be augmented without their knowledge and consent; parents told their children stories about the poor unfortunates in Zyxx who didn’t control their own Shields and the wretched victims in the Land of Those that Speak, where they didn’t have Shields at all. Children whispered stories of the wild blending of animal, plant and human there or the cruel augmentations the stronger forced on the weaker.

The idea of not having my Shield was very disturbing.

Also, I’m on Tumblr now at The Fourth Gorgon.