Wednesday, 11 June 2014

In Your Face, Procrastination.

     It should come as no surprise to me that procrastination is still one of my worst habits. Although, habit doesn't feel like the right word here. It seems to be a much bigger problem than nail-biting, fibbing or swearing.

     Back in high school, I most enjoyed language arts and English classes. And to this day, especially when I am in the middle of some serious procrastination, I can still hear the comments of my twelfth grade teacher as he handed back my essay on "The Outsiders." He told me "I would have had a high 'A' had the assignment been handed in on time." I accepted my paper back and the very low B, borderline C grade begrudgingly. I had no one to blame but myself.

     Over a decade later, the problem is still as prevalent as ever, but I am making small strides to change this. For me, I feel great triumphs in even small strides and accomplishments. For instance, it's been a few years now that I have been wanting to submit an entry for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival's annual Haiku invitational. I always go check the website, read the past winners and think 'this year I'll enter.' Of course, the deadline for entries comes and goes, and I think to myself, I guess there's next year. Only this year, I did it! As someone always captivated by the beauty of cherry blossoms, I started practicing writing haiku for a full month leading to the deadline, and I actually entered my two samples to the contest - with a day to spare!

     It's not at all about winning, although, who am I kidding, even an honourable mention would be nice. I am quite certain there are people out there more skilled with haiku writing than I - this was my first time trying! Personally, it's more about doing what I set out to, completing what I've started, so just the fact that I managed to get my entries in before the deadline made me extremely happy.

     On a larger scale, pursuing a possible career in writing, has been something I have been thinking about for about a decade. I was writing up a frenzy and even had some online readers 'back in the day.' All of their comments were super positive, saying things like 'Are you sure you're not published?' and 'make sure you tell us when you are.' That might be over ten years ago now, but it was those comments that inspired me to consider if this hobby of mine could be something more.

     Then, of course, life got in the way and took me on a journey ninety degrees to the left. Years later, I am back on this course, and the idea of being published has reborn; I am doing what I can make this happen. I've attended the Surrey International Writer's Conference, pitched to an agent (they were interested = YAY!), joined the Romance Writer's Association and local Greater Vancouver Chapter (a group which - according to an email I found in my 'keep' folder - I initially inquired about registration with, back in 2008! If that wasn't a whopping example of my procrastination problem, I don't know what is). Recently, I have also taken an online class about preparing and editing the final project for submitting to agents.

    I still find it very hard to stay focused, but as difficult as it is at times, I barrel onwards because I do want to make this happen. I know, just like receiving the poor grade on an otherwise outstanding essay, the only reason for this not to become reality, is if I don't stick with it and do what I need to do to make that happen. Specifically, to show procrastination the door and close it in it's face.  Here's hoping!

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