We’ve all read countless articles and listened to presentations about how writers should act now and never procrastinate. Write, write, write! But put down that pen, close your writing journal, and step away from the keyboard: The experts have a radical message you need to hear. You can benefit from a bit of procrastinating. That’s right! Dawdling and delaying can help improve your writing! Sit back and relax: Here’s why writers should procrastinate more often.
Why Writers Should Procrastinate
Your brain needs to reset: To quote the writer character in Stephen King’s book The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The first takeaway here: Don’t lock yourself in a remote, haunted hotel to work on writing projects. But also: Your brain needs to rest and play in order to be creative. Contrary to popular belief, procrastinating isn’t always a waste of time — it can promote flexible thinking and allow your creativity to flow at a more organic pace so you can generate new ideas.
You maintain control: The key to effective procrastination is moderation. Too much stalling and you’ll be rushing to complete your project, which can lead to mistakes. Too little, and you won’t experience the creative benefits. So it’s important to keep tabs on how much time you spend procrastinating.
Productive procrastination can also help you manage your deadlines. You can add time into your writing schedule for doing things that are not writing. Once you’ve hit that time limit, you’ll return to writing with a refreshed outlook and more energy. By planning ahead for distractions, you won’t fall behind and miss deadlines. Conversely, some writers feel more productive working under a tight deadline, and procrastinating can create this adrenaline-fueled rush — if that’s what works for you.
You’ll sharpen your ability to prioritize: Some deadlines arrive sooner than others, so procrastinating on some tasks allows you to prioritize your to-do list. Instead of editing your work-in-progress, it might be a better idea to meet current submission deadlines and send out your story that’s proofed, edited, and ready to go. With time-sensitive tasks out of the way, you’ll be free to focus on writing! Procrastinating on certain tasks can help you…