Saturday, 4 June 2011

Procrastination Ain't All Bad

Okay! I'm here to tell you why procrastination can be a good thing! Yes, you heard me right. It can be a good thing.

This study, while not about writing, shows that people are more productive when they aren't agonizing over something and constantly thinking about it. This is why a lot of the time people say that they'll sleep on it. Sleeping is how the brain figures out a lot of stuff--but that's going into neuroscience and I don't know a whole lot about that, so I'll shut up about it for now. I'm sure you guys can find some more information if you need it.

I'm not saying procrastinate all the time. That's counterproductive and bad. I'm saying that if you've written yourself into a corner, don't sit there and torment yourself trying to figure out how to undo it. Let it sit. Sleep on it. Do something else. Then come back, and maybe now, having let your brain rest and take a break, a solution will appear!

Also, taking breaks helps ease burnout. No studies to back that one up, just personal experience. My first novel took me six years to write. Why? Because I was stupid when I started and didn't know what the hell I was doing, being a dumb teenager. Taking breaks and going at my own speed helped me grow. I was reading and writing and learning during that time, and all that time meant I had plenty of, well, time to think over how the story was going to proceed and end. And this was a good thing. A really, really good thing. At one point I was going to kill off a major character and have a downer ending--but I didn't like that, so I kept thinking about it and thinking about it, and eventually the story went "well, hey, what about this?"


I'm not entirely sure if this post makes any sense to anyone but me. I guess what I'm saying is "go at your own speed, don't force yourself if you don't want to, and allow yourself time to think things over."

No comments:

Post a Comment