How do you beat procrastination?
Back when I was in my twenties I volunteered for the Starlight Foundation, granting wishes to children who were critically, chronically, or terminally ill. One of my grantees was a little boy named Tomas, who had made a wish to go to Disneyland. I was so excited to see his reaction when I arrived at his home in east LA to tell him all about how he was going to have his wish come true. I described the Magic Kingdom in all its glory and made sure to tell all about Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, and everything. I told him he’d stay in the Disney hotel and––
This is where Tomas interrupted me.
He asked, “What is a hotel?” His family had never stayed in a hotel so he had no idea what to expect. After I got home, I wrote and illustrated a picture book for him (something akin to a book dummy). It was called What is a Hotel? I read it to him on my next visit; the story was fun and funny, and he loved it, and it got him excited about his upcoming trip.
After his reaction, I knew I had to be published and from then on, I was writing and illustrating on a regular schedule, determined not to let myself procrastinate no matter what. I knew my WHY.
In this Facebook group I did a poll in which I asked, “What do you guys think the top two reasons are for not starting (or continuing) writing a children’s book?” I thought the big answer would be “getting an agent” or something like that. The top answer (by far)? It was procrastination.
Procrastination can grab hold and become a habit. But if you know your “why” procrastination loses its edge. You gain power.
Do you know your “why?” Find it and I bet you’ll beat procrastination.