This afternoon when I should have been writing, I read from a book about Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834). The book is a brief introduction to his work and life. I read that he procrastinated with his writing and would often use reading books as an excuse. Oh, the irony! Of course his opium addiction did not help. His procrastination caused him to leave a lot of his literary work unfinished.
Coleridge is not the only writer to put off writing. Douglas Adams, Margaret Atwood, Victor Hugo, Samuel Johnson, Herman Melville are a few. There are more.
I don’t like it when people make comments about writing not being work. “When are you going to get a real job?” they say. Writing is work, hard emotional work. When you write you have to face yourself and go to those deep dark places of your psyche. They are hard to face, and that is one of the reasons for procrastination. I feel good when I finally face them, and write about them. Writing is therapy, and I have masochistic tendencies.
There are still dark places that I am not ready to face. Sometimes I have tried, when I wasn’t ready, and felt overwhelmed. I had to stop. But I know I will face them eventually.
Now to get back to reading . . .
“Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.”
– Ellen DeGeneres