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.
Kelli PaniqueMarch 16, 2016 - 8:37 pm ·
Thank you for this, Katie!
Cindy DauerMarch 19, 2016 - 3:12 pm ·
So, I came here directly from watching your youtube interview with thecreativepenn.com in 2013 (I think). It was one of the first things listed in my search for “writing children’s books” there. Which is great because it was really great!
You had SO MANY helpful tidbits and such an approachable manner of sharing them. And I wondered what would be changed, now that it’s three years further on in the rapid world of technology. So I came to see what else you had to say.
And then I found this post about procrastination. And the reason I watched that video is because I am trying to overcome procrastination re: writing and illustrating my first book. I am not positive what my “why” is. But it might be that I would like to spread kindness in the world. (Not in a preachy way. Just in a cute-goofy animals doing nice things for each other sort of way.)
Thank you for all your helpful advice! 😀
KatieMarch 19, 2016 - 6:07 pm ·
I’m so happy you got a lot out of the interview and the post! If you want more craft tips, I’ll be starting a new podcast soon and you can get on the notification list at writeakidsbook.com/podcast. Hope to see there!