Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life Lessons with Izzy: Procrastination

So, here is where I will be completely, utterly, and unabashedly honest with all of you.  I am, perhaps, the Queen of Procrastination.  I am pretty sure I need that embroidered on a pillow somewhere, but let's get serious, I would just be putting off the embroidery until later.  My tendency to procrastinate used to drive my type A mother insane.  I would always say "It will get done."  When my mom really wanted it done right then.  Even as an adult I procrastinate about everything. 

I think the only thing I don't procrastinate about is arriving places on time.  With that, I tend to be ridiculously early.  Otherwise, I will put things off until I can't put them off any longer.  In college, I would wait until the day before a paper was due to write it.  In my adult life, I wait until the morning before people come to prepare for their visit.  I just can't seem to do things unless I am backed by a sense of urgency. 

Aside from the everyday tasks, that I am sure everyone puts off, there are more important things that I procrastinate about.  What, you may be asking yourselves, or the computer?  Well, writing See How She Runs is a prime example.  Almost two years ago I started writing the novel.  I put it off for two years before I finally found the courage to finish it.  This is the sort of procrastination I really want to talk about. 

Every last one of us has faced a big decision in our lives.  A crossroads where you must make a decision which way you will go, or what your next step may be.  If you are anything like me, you hesitate as long as you possibly can before committing to anything.  I find myself procrastinating the most when a huge decision is weighing on my shoulders.  If the situation puts me out of my comfort zone at all I ten to put it off as long as possible. 

In the case of writing the first book, I knew that I would eventually have to publish it for the world to read.  I would be putting something that was a huge part of me out into the world to be judged.  What if people hated it?  What if people didn't relate to my characters?  Ultimately, in the grand tradition of self-preservation, I put it off until the characters became insistent.  They began to demand their story be told.

Izzy, being much like me, has a tendency to procrastinate as well.  Whenever there are big decisions to be made, she puts them off as long as possible.  Mostly because she knows that whatever comes next will flip her world upside down.  But, ultimately she learns that procrastinating will do her no good in the long run.  If you wait too long to decide, the decision just may be made for us.  And, really, it is so much better to be in control of your own destiny.  So stop putting off whatever big decisions you have been putting off.... jump into the fray.... and perhaps together we can face our futures bravely.  (Or put it off for another day.)

(And now the part you have all really come here for, the excerpt from See How She Fights)

        I gritted my teeth together and tried not to be angry at the fates or whatever kept dragging me into this mess.  Selfishly I wanted things to remain the same.  I longed for my life with Kennan, our wedding, and even someday a family.  I wanted a future that did not include subterfuge, violence, and pain.

            If I were ever going to make that future a reality I had to stop hiding.  I swallowed down the lump and pulled up my big girl panties.  It was time to face the music and find out just what the universe wanted from me.  The not so subtle hints of the nightmares finally had their way.  Stupid universe.