Deb Kerry Needs a Buddy System

Hi, my name is Kerry Schafer and I am a procrastinator.

There ought to be a group for that. Procrastinator’s Anonymous would be a brilliant idea, I think – except that nobody would ever show up. It’s unfortunate there’s no money to be made from this skill, because I could make a killing.

Housework? Right after I read this chapter.

Bills? I’ll get to it just as soon as I’m done writing this scene.

Groceries? I’m all over that, just let me post one last tweet.

A synopsis or blurb needs to be written? Um, yeah – I’ll get to that right after I clean the house, pay the bills, and go buy the groceries.

See how it works? And yet, somehow or other, I manage to get a lot of writing done. My secret to getting things accomplished has nothing to do with discipline. Let’s be honest – I suck at discipline in a very big way. I know full well what my strengths are, and that is not one of them. I am motivated though, and highly competitive. So I’ve learned to play to my strengths instead of my weaknesses when it comes to getting writing done.

I have two primary methods:

1) Keep an insanely busy schedule.  I realize this may sound counter intuitive, but it’s true. Too much time on my hands is not healthy for me. On days when there’s not much going on and I wake up with that whole empty day spreading out before me, the procrastination bug bites hard. “I’ve got all day to write,” I tell myself. “I can afford to put it off a little.” So I putter. I twitter. I facebook. I read just one chapter of a book. Take a nap. Go for a walk.

And bam – the day is over and not a single word got written.

But, if I wake up in the morning and I know that the only writing time I’m going to get is an hour before work and an hour during lunch – well, it turns out I can get a lot of words written in a couple of hours.

2) Have an accountability and/or sprint buddy. I like this one way more than number one. If I’ve got plans to meet somebody at 5 am, or 2 pm, or 6 pm, or whenever – then I need to show up. I’m not going to just leave somebody hanging around waiting for me, that would be rude and irresponsible. It’s amazing how the knowledge of a friend alone and forlorn on the other end of the internet can drag me out of a nice warm bed on a cold morning. Plus – I write really fast when I’m sprinting. It’s that competitive thing. I want to be able to report a great word count so I keep my fingers moving and refrain from those deadly  forays into social media.

That’s about it for me. A busy schedule and a friend to write with.

What about you? How do you get yourself motivated to write, or to accomplish other goals?


4 Replies to “Deb Kerry Needs a Buddy System”

  1. Same for me!! Except when I’m in the zone–in which case my busy day can be spent writing. Sometimes I need nothing else on my to-do list. Usually though, the more I have to do, the more I get done. Good thing too, considering how much I have to do in the next two weeks. Argh.

    1. Boy oh boy have I learned the magic of a busy schedule… until I crash from exhaustion! It works for me because time breeds perfectionism. Being rushed means good enough is great. And then the creative juices can flow, even for a short time.

      Having that sprint buddy is a genius plan too! Universe, I need that!

  2. I have to write a list or nothing gets done. But my yoga practice has taught me to have compassion for myself so be kind to yourselves, Ladies, especially when you procrastinate doing other stuff. You write books. That’s amazing, for pete’s eggs…a cute story about this but I won’t bore you!

  3. A busy schedule ABSOLUTELY keeps me on track, and I write really well with a sprint buddy. Sprinting seems to keep me off Facebook and Twitter a little better than otherwise. I’m really dismal about attention spans and staying focused, for sure.

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