NUDGE: Procrastinating

When I was trying to think of something to write about today, I procrastinated by playing Zuma Blitz on Facebook. (I often brainstorm by playing Zuma Blitz or Bejeweled Blitz; I also use it to clear my mind when I’m tired from having worked hard on something. Call it procrastinating, if you wish.)

Maybe Zuma Blitz worked, because suddenly I decided to put “procrastination and poetry” into Google to see what came up. This produced “about 1,070,000 results” that included several sites where poets had posted their verse about procrastination; a procrastination haiku contest at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon; a site called The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel, Ph.D., a renowned researcher, speaker, and author of a book by the same name—his site also includes a “procrastination poetry” page. And that was all on the first page of results.

I also came across an award-winning animated film on YouTube called “Procrastination” by John Kelly:

Kelly basically covers all the bases in his film; just the same, this nudge is to write your own take on the subject of procrastination.

Try Kelly’s approach of completing the lead-in “Procrastination is…”. Fill in details specific to how you procrastinate. (“Procrastination is playing Zuma Blitz until I get motion sickness. Procrastination is shredding scrap paper. Procrastination is reading bad poetry for ‘inspiration.'”)

When you’re through, let your list of statements sit for a few days or even a week. (No, that’s not procrastinating. That’s called letting the first draft’s writing cool.) Return to the list with a fresh mind and craft a piece of finished writing based on the contents of your list. This works great for a poem, but it can also provide the seeds of a journal entry or blog post, or even an essay on the creative process or putting things off. You can also examine a character you’re creating for a piece of fiction by completing the list as the character would.

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