I have discovered a worm in my creative garden. At first, he was such a tiny little thing that he was easy to ignore. The destruction he wrought was miniscule and the excuses he engendered were easy to pass off as legitimate concerns. There are, after all, only so many hours in day, and each of us have to decide where we intend to spend our time. Is it more important to finish a chapter or wash the dishes? Should I spend time working on my outline or spend some quality time with my husband after a late day at work? Is it really so important to increase my word count today if it means I'll have to skip my hour of exercise?
Each time I gave in and put off writing, my little worm grew bigger, and bigger, feeding off my excuses and my ingrained desire to be lazy. I am the champion of putting off till tomorrow what I don't want to do today. As he grew, the excuses became less defensible. Should I write a chapter or play World of Warcraft? After all, I do need that new piece of armor. Why should I work hard on my book when I can sit on the couch and watch anime instead? Don't the little Sims I control in the Sims 3 deserve to live their lives? And they certainly can't live without me.
At this point, the tiny little worm of procrastination has become a huge slobbering mutant creature reminiscent of the monsters in science fiction movies. Not only can this beast swallow me and my book whole, I'm sure it could also swallow my entire library of ideas and maybe even part of my house.
With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I've decided its time to do some monster slaying. The issue is that while I know nearly every method one can employ to slay the cannibalistic undead, my expertise does not easily translate into an automatic extermination of giant procrastination worms. Setting weekly goals and forcing myself to meet them is certainly a start, as is closely regulating the time spent on computer games and other entertaining pursuits. Will these be enough for me to reclaim my garden?
I find myself curious about the techniques employed by my fellow monster exterminators. What methods do you use to slay your own procrastination worms? If you are planning to participate in NaNo, what strategies do you use to keep yourself going?