I'm not sure why this is the case, after so many years of writing novels. Is it because I'm afraid that I won't have anything to say? Or am I worried that something outrageous will pop out unexpectedly? Such concerns, when so far neither has ever happened. In the first case, I've yet to run out of words. In the second, I really like when my characters surprise me. I give their conversations and actions free rein and rarely remove them from the manuscript.
So why the procrastination? Why do I stop in midsentence to read the email that just zinged its way into my mailbox? Think it's time to check the newspaper or Facebook? Or feel the urge to make that phone call that can certainly wait until I'm finished writing for the day?
Of course, there are times when I'm in the writing zone and happy to remain there oblivious of distractions. My fingers fly as the words materialize before me and the story moves along. I suppose this happens when small but necessary details have been worked out in my mind and I'm free to move on quickly and efficiently.
I've come to understand that some of my procrastination is necessary. When I need to figure out how to segue into the next scene; or decide how, when and where two characters will meet, I turn from the screen to look through my mail or go downstairs for a drink of water. I might even respond to an email or check that evening's TV schedule. And when I return to my Work In Progress, the solution I've been seeking is clear in my head. While I was procrastinating, my mind was busy on a subliminal level figuring out many answers for me.
And so I'll continue to work the way I do. Because the pages get written, the manuscripts get done.