I had tons of ideas for a blog this month. I was going to write about life, writing, movies, and plays all using a three-act structure. I was going to write about how I plot and plan. I had a great idea about life imitating art and art imitating life. Then I thought about the end of Mad Men (which I just saw on DVD) and how the end didn’t live up to the rest of the show. I mean nobody’s real-life story line ends that neatly. Poor Betty.
So, what happened? Well, one thing led to another and then another and then life got in the way, you know how it does? After that, I don’t know. It just never happened. I kept hearing my third grade teacher’s voice whispering in my ear, and then shouting…”Procrastination is the thief of time.” However, I successfully pushed it into the background. Before I knew it, this blog was DUE.
While I was procrastinating, telling myself I have the blog in my head, all that’s left is putting the fingers to the keyboard, I decided to catch up on the news…I stumbled on an article in the New York Times. Turns out, procrastination is actually a good thing. In fact, it increases creativity. And best of all, they have studies to prove it. Okay, I didn’t think you’d believe me, but here’s the link. Check it out for yourself.
On reflection, it makes a lot of sense, although the increase in creativity feels more like a panic attack. Procrastination isn’t passive. It takes a lot of energy to decide not to do something. While you’re thinking about not thinking about it, your subconscious is chewing on it. It’s the same principle as getting great ideas in the shower, or on a run, or driving to and from work. Put your brain on autopilot and it churns out ideas, solutions, and answers. Sometimes totally unexpected ones. Procrastinating gives you permission to find creative solutions. Then, at the twenty-fifth second before the due date, limber up those fingers and stretch them out on the keyboard. If the theory holds, then this should be a great blog. I know it’s on a topic that hadn’t crossed my mind, until last night. And of course, the proof is in the New York Times. They’re never wrong…are they?
How about you? Is your style advance planning, or do you believe in the Hail Mary pass? Would you consider changing?