So I have this idea for an article I want to pitch to this website.
The article topic, and the site, are irrelevant. What’s important is, I have an idea, I am inspired to turn this idea into a Thing, and I cannot, no matter how hard I try, force myself to sit down and write.
For the record, I don’t struggle with sitting down and writing on a regular basis. I do it every day without much strain. This thing in particular, though, has been hanging over my head for awhile.
It happened again just this afternoon. I happened upon that site, remembered my idea, and shook my head, thinking, “Hopefully this weekend I’ll have a few hours to finally do this.”
And then I stopped. And I thought. Why this weekend? Why not now?
Of course, all the excuses — legitimate and not — immediately come pouring in with this question. I’m tired, it’s Monday, work was overwhelming, I want to finish reading my book, I DON’T WANNA.
But I’ve been telling myself I was going to write this thing since JANUARY. And I HAVE NOT DONE IT. Because I said I’d do it in February. And then I got “too far along” in a job hiring process, and told myself, if I get this job, I’ll start it then, and the job I got sucked all my fun writing time away (it happens), and now it’s August and guess what? Haven’t even started. DISGRACEFUL.
Every single time I land on this site, I think, “I still really want to pitch something to these humans. Why haven’t I done it yet?” And I can never come up with a good enough reason. Because I’m pretty sure it will only take me a few hours to produce — a few hours I would really rather spend, I don’t know, not writing.
I don’t need to write it. But I want to. And that should be enough. Right?
The only solution in these moments is, honestly, to just do it. It seems so simple, so obvious, but it’s one of the hardest things to put into practice for some reason. JUST. DO. IT. Write this thing. Sit your butt down in that chair and pound on your computer keyboard until you stop feeling guilty for not writing anything. Getting started is, and probably always will be, the hardest part — especially for chronic procrastinators such as myself.
We really need to stop saying “someday, at some point, when I’m done doing x.” I’m so fed up with myself for even letting these phrases enter my brain. I tell you all the time not to do it — but that’s because, really, I’m just as guilty of it as you are. We’re in this mess together. But only I can dig myself out of mine, and only you can climb your way out of yours.
Have you had any “someday” moments lately, where “why not now” could apply nicely? If you have, you’re thinking about it right now, and that means, YOU GOTTA DO IT. I don’t know how I’m going to find the time/motivation to write this article for this website, because it’s not on my “need to do” list. But gosh darn it, I’m going to do it anyway, because “I’d rather watch Netflix” is a terrible excuse.
Why not now? What’s your excuse? Chances are, it’s not a great one — and you probably already know that.
If I can do it, so can you. Click away, open a blank document, start writing now. Go! Do it! Hurry!
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.