Not-worthy Procrastination Excuses

Did you know that for the last few weeks I have remained just one assignment away from having done enough work to complete a BA degree with the Open University? (or a BSc, come to think of it.) Weeks of knowing that I am just one last push short of the summit but not actually getting there; of putting off and going and doing something else that seems more worthy. I probably could have finished the final assignment four times over by now and be relaxing and celebrating (perhaps not relaxing), and looking at the reading for next year’s literature course but there’s something invisible that’s stopping me.

Why am I not doing it?

There’s always something that stops me from taking a big, healthy bite of life – as if I feel I don’t quite deserve it. I seem to punish myself and be unforgiving – as if I should never be putting my needs or self-improvement or even enjoyment anywhere near the top of what’s important, and I should never get proud or smug about anything. But also there’s a feeling that’s it’s never enough; I should be pushing myself harder and achieving more. Confused? Me too.

You see, however hard I work, however much I do, I never really feel that sense of what-ever-it-is that I realise must be quite a healthy and necessary feeling in order to keep going and feel as if you are getting somewhere but also to feel that you can enjoy something nice.

Today is the first day since the summer holidays started that the children are all out of the house and my husband is off work, helping to lay a patio– which means there is someone to keep an eye on the 5-month-old house-eating dog. So today is the day to get the assignment, if not finished, at least well-and-truly nailed, yes?

We’ll see…
I’m already thinking, ‘washing, tidying, bills, emails, one of the shop’s accounts needs looking at, it’s about time I changed the sheets and where’s the 16-yr-old’s bus pass application form?… oh – and how about I write a blog post… ’

12 thoughts on “Not-worthy Procrastination Excuses

  1. Pack up your laptop and hit the library (or Costa Coffee)! That’s what I do. I’m always amazed at how much writing I get done when I’m away from all the things I use as an excuse not to get down to what I really want to do.

    I can totally sympathise with the not-really-deserving-the-me-time-thing. I’ve felt like that since I gave up teaching and became a full-time mum. For some reason, I’ve got it into my head that EVERYTHING else should come before my needs/wants/enjoyment, and it takes a huge mental effort for me to let myself enjoy some guilt-free reading/writing time. I tell myself that the feeling will go away once someone pays me for my writing because then I’ll be able to justify the time I spend doing it. Then again, surely writing shouldn’t be about the money … it should be about the story, so just writing should be justification enough …


  2. You are both so wise. Now, at 1.45pm, I have done the washing, tidied the desk, vacuumed and generally moved and shuffled stuff. I have just finished lunch and am ready to begin… 😉


  3. Rachel.

    No. Don’t read this comment. Really. Get to writing that assignment.

    I know how you feel. I’ve been there. I am there. I think it’s the volume of things that comes from having a house, children, dog, garden, shop (in your case).

    Sometimes I feel like I never stop, I go from one thing to the next, yet I don’t get around to doing the thing that really matters, i.e. writing. I’m afraid I have no real advice to give you. Not any that I actually follow. Just that sometimes, getting your writing done is a matter of lucky timing.

    It seems to me this is the right time for you.

    Take a chill pill (not literally!) and pat yourself on the back for only having one assignment left to complete.

    And now, do it!



  4. You sound so like my husband! Do thinks in timed bursts. 45 min writing, 45 min housework, 15 min break, and then start again 🙂 x


  5. I love your blog. I often sit here reading your posts, nodding away. You say so many things that I can relate to.

    I’m so pleased you managed to write yesterday, that is brilliant. x


    • Thanks, Rebecca. that’s a lovely thing to say. I think we all want people to be nodding as they read and consider we’re doing something right when it happens.
      I do anyway! 🙂


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