Why Writers Procrastinate

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”  –Mark Twain

I am sure there are many writers who are extremely productive—efficiently and expeditiously creating masterful works of writing within self-imposed deadlines. Writers who set a word or page count and meet it every time, writers who don’t postpone writing for inadequate reasons.

I am not this writer.

And, I’m not alone.

Many of us, in our honest moments, will admit that 35 percent of our time writing is spent cruising social media sites, 25 percent to sending emails, 15 percent to doing household chores, 20 to editing, and 5 percent to writing.

It’s funny because it’s true. Well, on some days. So, does this mean that many writers are lazy?

No. It means that writers tend to procrastinate.

The following are some of the reasons why:

Lack of Ideas: Even the most creative writer can suffer from writer’s block. And it’s often easier for writers to run from it then face it.

Fear of Being Revealed: Even the most popular writers fear that they will be exposed as a fraud. The worry that your audience will realize that you aren’t as good as they previously believed can cause many writers to put off writing.

Listening to The Voices in Your Head: Even focused writers hear negative voices in their heads. The voices that whisper (occasionally scream) that everything you write is awful, sucks and is doomed to fail.

Distractions: Even well paid, professional writers work from home. This perk, however, comes with a lot of distractions including laundry, dishes, and that damned TV.

Page Intimidation: Even the most confident writer is, at some point, intimidated by a big, blank, white page, which is followed only by a hundred more. The struggle is real—writers avoid it by not engaging in it. No big blank page equals no intimidation.

Perfectionist: Even the writers who can easily fill a page, edit a line, and meet a deadline become stalled in trying to perfect their work. Because there are million ways to tell a story, craft a paragraph, and perfect a sentence—many writers run from the effort.

I know that many of you are nodding your heads. You’ve been there. You’re there now.

A blank page blinks as your story waits to be told. You know you procrastinate. And now you know some of the reasons why.

Read next week’s post to find out how to stop!

Thank you for reading. I look forward to your comments.

7 thoughts on “Why Writers Procrastinate

    1. There are great websites that are idea generators. Many will provide you with a 2-3 line prompt or establish a theme, town, character to help spark ideas. Please also check out my other posts. I have written several that help with the initial process of generating an idea and creating a story. Communicating with other writers is also a wonderful way to spark the creative fire!

      1. I believe that I have good stories to get out but to make it sound good is a different story. how to use words that right way lol. I guess that is why the have editor or ghostwriter for people like me lol

  1. Distractions are the worst. First they are a necessary part of real life and secondly they are a legitimate way to avoid the page.

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About Sherry Parnell