Stop Thinking This: Someday I’ll Start My Life

Time for a touchy subject, Writer Friends. Procrastination. But not just any procrastination —  I’m talking about Life Procrastination. The kind of procrastination that takes years to perfect. You have to hone it, over decades of telling people you’re “working on a novel” (or whatever your unfinished life’s work may be) when you haven’t written any words since 1987, over weeks or years of turning on the computer and re-reading your old, half-finished files, thinking “I should finish that piece” and then Stumbling instead. Or, Facebooking, or Flickring, whatever. Pick your poison.

First, let me say this: I am purt near out of judgment today. I’m not judging nobody, nothing, nohow. I spent almost my entire adult life bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have enough time/energy/material/chi/Muse to do my life’s work. I could have filled a swimming pool full of that kind of bullsugar, and had enough left over to frost the world’s largest Bullsugar Cake.

So understand this: I’ve been there. But not for quite some time. What changed? I got gray hair.

Yup, after gray hair, and kids, and some assorted physical complaints (my corns? my bunions! jk), I realized it was looking more and more likely that I would live and die a big fat What-If life, chock full of “I could’ve been a contender.” So I got off my a$$ and started writing. (Actually, I got on it, BIC-style. But you know what I mean.)

What brought this topic up? Recently, I had a couple of non-Writer Friends (who are very much where I once was) ask me questions.

Like “Don’t you get writer’s block?  I have terrible writer’s block. I’ve had it for, like, a decade. It’s debilitating.”

And “Do you think I should go get that writing degree you got, Nikki?* (When asked what this friend was writing, the answer was “Nothing.” When asked what this friend had ever written the answer was also “nothing. Yet.” Sigh.)

My answer to them both? Just Write.

With a pen, with a pencil, with a computer or a typewriter. With the bloody stumps of your zombie-gnawed fingers, for crying out loud, but just get some words on the freaking page! And stop thinking about it.

Also, stop checking Facebook every ten minutes. Your status isn’t going to announce “Fabulous MacWriter just finished her novel!” all by itself, now is it?

There. I feel better now. If that wasn’t enough chastisement (Hmmm… a reminder for myself as well? Maybe.) then visit THIS SITE and weep.

* Heck, no! It scared me away from writing for a decade! Um, kidding. Sort of.

Posted in Miscellaneous on 05/11/2010 01:48 am


  1. Kind of perfect. I stayed up reading a *brilliant* book and went to bed thinking, “Why bother? I’ll never be able to do that.” But, this a.m., I just sat down and wrote anyway. Why NOT? I had the job of going through an aunt’s unfinished novel and writing scraps after she died. Not wanting to live an “If only” life is a great motivator. Great post, Nikki!


    • Nikki Loftin

      Glad you could use something in it, Lori. Now, I have to get off the Internetz so I can make my word quota or DIE OF SHAME in a few weeks. Agh!


  2. All too true, Nikki. Good luck with your word count quota.


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