The Pitfalls of Procrastination

We all come up with a reason not to do something, pretty much convincing ourselves that we do not have enough time. In my years so far on this planet, I have come to wholeheartedly believe  there are two kinds of procrastination…and I have been doing one of the two currently as I am writing this blog considering that I started this 20 minutes ago and I am three sentences in.

That would be called generic procrastination. Which is more what I do when I am putting off things I think I will not enjoy – like packing, laundry, the “unnecessary” paperwork for each of my projects at work or, to relate to you students out there…some heavy-duty, highly obscure statistical research for some boring article you have to write on some obscure, boring subject. This is when we of course wait till the very very very last minute to actually complete the task, all the while stressing out every minute before actually starting, worrying that you have probably already put it off too long and should have really started it earlier.

In order to distract myself (ourselves) from the discomfort of these concerns, I obsessively check Facebook, text messaging, news headlines, my e-mail inbox(es) and…..exchange rates (?). Then finally when I start the thing that is so very boring, it is a massive struggle not to stop every few minutes to again check Facebook, news headlines, e-mail…or in my case right now, check on the rice cooker and text with Amber – and anything else that is slightly less boring than that thing I’m supposed to be doing.

The Art of “Generic Procrastination”

1:46PM: click hotmail – inbox: 5063 unread messages; 1:47 PM: click Facebook, “that person I haven’t seen in 6 years is going out to lunch, cool”; 1:48PM – text from Amber, “Cool! Are we decided then?”; click xe.com, the exchange rates change ever so slightly; 1:49PM – 2:19PM: Watching last minute drives by various teams; 2:24 PM: click Facebook, “I think every girl on my friend’s list has seen Twilight this weekend”; 2:25PM: checked text messages, two girls messaging me but not the one I want; 2:26PM – 2:36PM: talked shit to my Chicago Bears friend about my Chargers going to beat them…I will most likely lose this argument in the end

A much more insidious and neurotic strain of procrastination in the perfectionist, which happens in the following way. (2:42 PM: Hey she texted me! This falls under generic procrastination though) When I get a fresh exciting idea, all I want to do is drop everything else and delve into it – forget work, not buy groceries, no t make dinner, etc etc in order to get started and write. But usually I don’t drop anything, instead waiting for some “free time” to write, a time when I am relatively unburdened by other more pressing responsibilities. As I wait, the idea starts to expand and multiply, like a bacterial culture, growing organically and linking up with other themes or ideas. Suddenly an idea that I thought was going to just be a few anecdotal paragraphs becomes a complex, many tiered essay-ish idea that will require a lot of time and effort, and maybe some research and fancy formatting to get it on Final Draft/Word in the way I imagine it.

At this point, there is not turning back from an immense idea, no going back to the nice simple, fresh, innocent initial thought – it’s all or nothing . So – at least lately – more often than not it means I do nothing.

The longer I wait to write a new idea the harder it becomes – the more I feel indebted to it, like I owe it a chance or something. And there is also a pecking order – I owe more to the older ideas because they’ve been waiting longer. So all the newer new ideas get put on the backburner until I find some time to write the older new ideas (which ultimately shrivel into old, unwieldy ideas).

It is true I am short on time at the moment, on top of my job and everything else I usually have going on here. Been working at least 60 hours a week for the past month and I’m condensing my belongings in preparation for moving out on my own, free of roommate(s). So finding the time for complex writing is kind of impossible. Even when I do have a free day, the hypothetical unwritten script/writings will have to compete with all the chores I should have done, errands I should have ran, books I should have read and other miscellaneous tasks I should have accomplished.

But it’s the perfectionism that keeps getting in the way. I procrastinate from doing the things I love because I want to do these things better than I realistically am able to do with the time I actually have. A heady cocktail of perfectionism and procrastination and guilt can almost entirely immobilize me for days on end. It effects not only something like writing, or blogging in this case, but many other things – like for example, calling an out-of-state friend.

Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Before

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

An instant connection leaving them breathless,
Passion so intense it’s almost senseless.
A warmth of feelings thought forgotten,
Burning desires each other will soften.
Life and beauty found in every place,
Perfectly entwined with every embrace.
Blissful happiness in each other they have found,
An unbreakable bond that sweeps them off the ground.
Clarity found in each others gaze,
Lost in each other for a number of days.
A mutual peace without doubt or fear,
Serene and humble for many a year.

Just Do The Damn Thing

Dear Elric,

Dude, Elric, it’s just a blog.  Write whatever the hell you want, whenever you want.  You don’t have to be so precious about it ALL of the time.  Just write something, it doesn’t matter if it sucks.  Put it up anyway – it’s YOUR blog – for FUN, remember? Sometimes, sure, why not, spend a day (IF you ever have a whole day of time to yourself again…!) working on a long involved post full of a variety of related themes or researched information.  But it doesn’t have to be like that every time! 

I know that at this point you have a whole ridiculously long list of ostensibly awesome ideas to write about that you feel you couldn’t  possibly do justice in a short post, but I’m sure you probably also have plenty of other half-baked ideas that you could jot down a few notes about and call them a post.  Throw a random question, an idea, an undeveloped thought up there – it doesn’t have to be fully digested and worked through.  You don’t have to be FAIR.  You don’t have to go and try and find as many sides of an issue as possible and you don’t have to tie it to a bigger and bigger theme.  It can just be tidbit, a nugget, a kernel.  Write a paragraph and press the publish button – it doesn’t have to MEAN anything.   You could even JUST pose a question and not even try to answer it at all.  This is a free format and there are no mistakes.  It is not permanent, it is not printed, it is JUST a blog.  THAT was the point when you started – to have a place to play with ideas and to just write and not worry about the outcome.  So when did you forget?  Seriously chill out.  It’s better to post and have it not be incredible, than never post at all.  It’s a BLOG – decent sometimes is good enough.  Go for decent and maybe you’ll surprise yourself.  Just go for something.  Just write. Stop thinking about it and just do it.

Love,

Yourself

P.S.  Don’t you DARE “edit” this stupid letter to yourself. That’s not the point!

A Knight’s Tale – The Letter

My dearest Jocelyn:
It is strange to think, I have not seen you in a month.
I have seen the new moon, but not you.
I have seen sunsets and sunrises, but nothing of your beautiful face.
The pieces of my broken heart can pass through the eye of a needle.
I miss you like the sun misses the flower. Like the sun misses the flower in the depths of winter.
Instead of beauty to direct its light to, the heart hardens like the frozen world your absence has sent me to.

I next compete in Paris. I’ll find it empty and cold if you’re not there.

Hope guides me. It gets me through the day and especially the night. The hope that after you leave my sight it will not be the last time I look upon you.

With all the love that I possess…I remain yours…

The knight of your heart.

William

By Elric Posted in Film

Thank You

You know what I find mind-blowingly amazing? You guys. Yeah, I’m serious. It blows my mind that you all like my blog and my crazy-ass ramblings.

I haven’t gotten much writing done as of late, at least getting them into electronic form, with a very busy work schedule taking up most of my time. But I’m still spending any free time I got working on things. I’ve just been so incredibly tired, and no, I’m not hungover. I’m just exhausted. I may have been bitten by a tsetse fly and developed sleeping sickness but I don’t think there are tsetse flies in Colorado, which doesn’t mean there aren’t.

When I am feeling any kind of illness, I like to think that someone is experiencing that exact same thing at the exact same moment…like we’re connected. Remember in E.T., when E.T. got drunk and then Elliott felt the same side effects. Hilarious. But then when E.T. got sick and then the Elliott got sick too, that wasn’t as funny. So it’s like that. But not.

As I was saying this in my mind as I typed, it did not make any sense to me like my sentence structures were all off but that happens. I did that at work all day today, like what did I just say? Anyways. I’ll be back into full swing again with the blogs soon enough. Also am going to do something with my screenwriting that I have never done before in the past which involves my readers. So yay on that.

According to stats: My Top Blogs To Date Are…

I’ll Tell You The Moment I Fell For The Girl

I Don’t Know Who I Am

The Great Gatsby Sucks

I Don’t Even Know What To Call This

We Want To Live By Each Other’s Happiness, Not By Each Other’s Misery

One of my favorite monologues of all time is spoken by Charlie Chaplin’s character in the 1940 film, The Great Dictator. I urge you to watch the video below, as it is truly inspirational and I believe everyone needs to hear this.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!