Am I a procrastinator? There are always things that have to be put off… failure to function perhaps isn’t the same thing.
I chose one of the sample tweets from today’s brief before sleeping last night. I distracted around the meaning of procrastination and a lttle hitting the surf.
I had other things that needed doing today and I’ve done them very slowly and unreliably. I’d already decided I wasn’t making a post at all today (11th September) and that I would make a short page entry. I decided I’ll do the task another day, maybe this weekend. Putting it off.
The tweet prompt I chose from the five offered suggestions was @grantdraws on procrastination and creativity comment. There are replies adding to the discussion at the twitter post, link provided above.The tweet is simply:
‘I can’t decide if procrastination kills creativity or is essential to it.’
I really didn’t feel like hitting the surf and entering a #quote search on twitter and losing myself today in finding something else. I might do that another time.
Grant Snider’s tweet shared by the writing101 course team seemed interesting enough to tackle, I even found a quote elsewhere that I have a burning desire to include in my writing. However it seemed a very inappropriate day to use that quote. Allowing a few days or more to pass and I will feel much happier to use that quote and attend that writing. Is that procrastinating? or planning appropriately?
I could have found something else perhaps or worked through from a different starting point – but I had this thing in mind that is nothing concrete yet, is invisible and has no worded outline, no structured form. It’s just a vague collection of unconnected thoughts that will somehow string together and make itself in the process of doing when the time is right.
From a creative point of view, I’m regarding what might appear to be ‘procrastination’ as perhaps mis-defined and mis-used..
The first thing I thought was that our subconcious creative minds are simply working on background tasks, whirring away, processing those early thoughts and ideas while we do other things. When all the necessary data has been crunched, compressed, whirligigged back and forth and then defragmented, suddenly we arrive at the moment of producing our creative result. That’s perhaps at the very last minute just before a deadline.
Personally, I’ve been known to be on my way to class to have to present my contemporary art type reflective response for a presentation and to be throwing my ideas together on the bus journey. Or blanket-stitching around a paper piece in 2011 on a train journey back to Nottingham arriving back just in time for an evening class with this project due. I’d already messed round with several potential options for my project while away.I had other stuff I could have used but deciding that morning that it really had to be this other thing that did not even exist yet and had to made with only hours to spare and luckily having just enough of the right materials and equipment with me having taken my embroidery along.
In my younger days as a student I would sometimes be up all night working to get things done or finished for the next day. I’m sure that’s not at all unusual. One end of year show required three nights with no sleep. (Watching Tangerine Dream at the Royal Concert Hall afterwards with the hallucinatory effect of extremely little sleep for three days was quite fun, but I never did it again!)
So, I’m not even sure that this thing we call ‘procrastination’ is being correctly applied while our organic computer like brains just need to run through various processes ‘in the background’ first. Of course it isn’t necessarily like that every time and sometimes we can can get on and do things straight off, or work through ideas persistently. Other times it just has to settle and simmer and be left on the back-burner until the time is right.
Perhaps that is what is meant by the potential for procrastination to enhance or be essential to creativity. but then, is it a process of procrastination at all? Or is that just what we call it?