Stalling

Well the official definition of Procrastination is a type of “avoidance behavior” which is characterized by “deferment of actions of tasks to a later time”. Psychologists often cite procrastination as a mechanism for “coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.”

Now that’s a nice way of saying procrastination means not doing what you’re supposed to be doing because you’re stalling or waiting for the right moment to get going. Nobody knows that better than a writer on a deadline! You’ve probably heard of “writers block”, and whether or not there is really such a thing is debatable, but there are times when that blank page stays blank for a long time!

However, to be a good procrastinator, you must have a variety of things to keep you from doing your tasks or making decisions. There are standard ones of course; oh darn, must go to the store to get that special ingredient! Or, my car is dirty and low on fuel, better wash it and head off to fill it with fuel. Those two alone are worth an hour or two in delaying starting your project.

There are others; calling a friend, doing laundry, arranging your wardrobe in the messy closet. I’m sure that you all have others but the best one I’ve found so far is to look for that book you just thought about!

First thing you do is search for it and if your book collection is like mine you must zero in on what section this must find book is in. I have books in my study, my kitchen, bedroom, living room, and basement!

The sports ones are in the study, cooking ones the kitchen, novels in both the living room and bedroom and leftovers in the basement. Once you’ve determined the approximate location of the book you can get down to business but beware! Ahead is the procrastinator’s best friend; when looking for your book you suddenly discover another book you haven’t looked at in years!

Heck better stop and peruse it for a few minutes. Wow, this book is better than I remembered it from before, better set it aside and check it out further when I finish finding the other one. And then you know what happens, you see another book you haven’t looked in a long time and better check that one out too!

So, you see, this could, and probably does go on for hours. Forcing you to reschedule your original task for when you have more free time and don’t have to fool with all the old books you must certainly put away and in better order this time!

Procrastination is powerful thing, especially when it’s the holiday season and there are so many last minute things to catch up on.

But it does have it’s good side… By the time you’ve used up all your excuses and delays you often are so sick of worrying about not getting the task done that you just take a deep breath and tackle the task or decision at hand with renewed energy, it’s too late not to, you have no choice!

Good luck with getting all your tasks and decisions taken care of. Once you do that you can enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of having completed a project!!

To reach Rick Schultze: email yarick@pioneer.net


Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!