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9 Ways to Procrastinate Writing

I need to get 1000 words on paper today. I need to do it, I have a deadline. Readers are waiting, editors are getting impatient, my critique group is giving me the eye. I really don’t have to finish this GTAV mission…

But I probably should.

Really, how tough is writing? You sit down at the laptop, punch out a few words, and BLAMO! Writing. Easy peasy. But there are so many other things to do right this moment. Things that must be done.

In no particular order:

1). Fix that Crooked Painting.

See that painting over your bookshelf? No, not the family portrait, the other one . It’s crooked. Like seriously, really, crooked.

Off by at least an inch.

You must fix it this second. How can you concentrate with that damn painting mocking you? It’s laughing right now. You probably don’t know how to fix a painting, it snorts. What kind of writer are you?

Your story can wait. Fix that bitch.

2). Landscape Your Yard.

Ug. You know what sucks? Looking out your window and seeing a bunch of weeds. How can you be expected to concentrate under these conditions? Look at that yard. Look at it.

A quick mow and I can get back to writing.

A quick mow and I can get back to writing.

Your neighbors are judging you as we speak. It’s time to weed. Hey, you know what would look nice? Some new perennials. I saw this great blog about flowers, hold on, let me spend twenty minutes looking for it…FOUND IT! Quick! To the Nursery!

3). Watch that Movie…For Research.

I’ve always wanted to write a story about superheroes. Seriously, since, like, five minutes ago when I was scrolling my Netflix queue.

Let me just load up The Avengers…ooh! Look at Nick Fury direct that operation! I’m going to take some notes for my…uh…story. Just as soon as I finish this popcorn and clean the butter off my fingers.

And I should probably catch Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger while I’m here.

4). Check the Mail. Again.

Yes, you sent that query electronically. Yes, the agent’s website says she only replies by email. But you’d better check the mailbox one more time. You never know.

Plus, that Sonic Screwdriver you ordered should arrive any day.

5). Read that Book…For Research.

Writers read. That’s what the advice columns say. And this new Gentlemen Bastards is full of great prose, great characters…just greatness. Think of the things I can learn by reading it, the tricks I can absorb and make my own. 

Just a ten minute break while I finish this chapter and then I’ll get back to my…

And sometimes medieval armor leads you in another direction.

And sometimes medieval armor leads you in another direction.

Oh, wow. Is that really how medieval armor works? Quick, to the Kindle Store! I’ll get to work on my story as soon as I learn how to make a hemp garrote.

6). Time for a Coffee Break!

Boy, writing make-believe places is surprisingly exhausting. You’d better hit up the coffee machine for some liquid inspiration. Of course, if you really want inspiration you’d should visit that new artisan espresso  shop in Old Town.

I’m told they make the Pumpkin Spice with real spice!

Plus, you can soak up the atmosphere, eavesdrop on conversations, maybe grab a scone. Oh, check it out! They have a blue-grass band! You love blue-grass! I mean, maybe you don’t, but you should stay and listen anyway. You don’t want to be rude.

7). Research Your New Laptop.

Look, maybe Fitzgerald wrote the Great Gatsby on a napkin (or whatever they used before computers), but this isn’t 1920, right? My Thinkbook can barely run a game of Mahjong without hiccuping, how can I write a novel on this thing?

Ah, jeez. Becky put a picture of her new Ultrabook on Facebook, and I want that thing more than I’ve ever wanted anything. *Drool* Let me check the reviews. No. I don’t like the reviews on that page, let me hit Best Buy. Better check Consumer Reports and Newegg too.

I can already taste that backlit keyboard.

8). Make a Mind-Map.

There is nothing worse than staring at a blank page. Outlining won’t help when you don’t know what to write, and this isn’t NaNoWriMo. I can’t write just anything.

I know!


Time for the meta breakdown.

Time for the meta breakdown.

Let me find the right software, I hear Literature and Latte has something new…okay, got it. Get to mind-mapping.

This is awesome! I have so many ideas! Only four more hours and I’ll finally have something to outline.

9). Social Media Smackdown

 Damn, my lawn looks good. I’d better take a quick snapshot for my Tweeps. And how ’bout a Facebook update chronicling the coffee trip (’cause this Double Whip Three Pump Gingerbread Latte tastes niiiiiiice)?

Ah, hell. this Avenger’s review isn’t going to right itself. To Tumblr!

After all, anything you put on social media builds your author platform, and author platforms sell books.

But why are you listening to me anyway? There are movies to watch, books to read, walks to take, things to do. This writing thing can wait til tomorrow.

So what’s your favorite way to procrastinate?


Image Credits: 

Video Games,” Creative Commons via Steven Andrew

Weeds weeds weeds,” Creative Commons via Sew Pixie

I like that there’s a little heart on the chastity belt,” Creative Commons via Jessica Watkins DeWinter

About nicwidhalm (46 Articles)
Nic Widhalm is a writer based out of Colorado, and specializes in stories of change, juxtaposition, and things that go bump in the night. You can visit him at

9 Comments on 9 Ways to Procrastinate Writing

  1. So true. I procrastinate by reading blogs about…procrastination. That whole ‘bright, shiny object’, ooh, pretty! lol

  2. unsolicitedtidbits // October 21, 2013 at 10:42 am // Reply

    Ha! I love it. I’m always ready to stop for coffee.

    • I’m never one to disparage coffee. It’s writer fuel, I says, I says. But damn, it gets expensive after awhile. I really need to get a drip machine in my office. 😀

  3. looking for snacks or the right music or surfing the web…research & social media, ya know. ha!

  4. I’m procrastinating by reading this post…I’m meant to be writing an article 🙂

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