Play yourself through procrastination

Earlier this week I had a breakdown. I’d just received a very positive rejection, but still. A rejection. I hadn’t expected to be hit that hard by the rejection, but I was. For a day I did nothing. I procrastinated (and in case you wonder: I am a pro at that!). Procrastination happens when fears get too big for your mind to handle, and it idles until something happens that snaps it out of that.






Making a change


The next day I woke up and decided that I didn’t want another wasted day. I snapped out of the procrastination through play. I first straightened things on my farm (hey, farmville is serious business!) and then I decided to do dare myself. I looked at my folder of stories I haven’t touched in ages, and decided to play with them. I wanted to dust them off, breathe new life into them, and then send them out into the world.


In this mission I had one keyword, and this keyword was fun. If a story wasn’t fun for me to play with, I tossed it out and went for the next.


For one story I only took the idea, another I’ve rewritten extensively. The result? Four stories, including the one that got rejected, submitted this week, and two more submissions planned for this afternoon. I’ve also written two new stories and two nanofiction and there’s another story on the way which I carry to submission this weekend.



What I’ve learned


Dusting off my old stories taught me so much about my writing path. I can see how much I’ve grown as a writer, I can see things I do different now as opposed to back then. And I can see how I’ve improved myself. All it took was a dive back into stories I’ve written years ago,


And I’m writing like mad again. I’ve learned so much from this one experience. It makes me sad knowing that often times fear won, but that was then, this is now. Now I play with my writing, and boy, it feels good!



What have you done to get yourself out of procrastination and fear?
What can you learn from your old stories?

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This entry was posted by Sylvia on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 14:06 and is filed under Play . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Angela Scott says:

    I’m horrible with rejection. I keep thinking I’ve developed a thick skin, but rejections have a way of finding the hole in my armor. It hurts.

    I think fear is holding me back right now. I have one project in the fire right now (with an agent) but the rejections from editors are piling up. It terrifies me to be so close and not close enough.

    Now I can’t write anything. I’ve been stalled for weeks now. It sucks.

    But your post got me thinking about some old (very old) pieces of mine that have been put away. It may be fun to dig those out and take a look at them. At least it will make me see how far I’ve come (back then I knew NOTHING).

    Consider yourself stalked. You are officially in the BEST DARN BLOGS EVER! file. I will be back, I promise. But I’m off to Hawaii now. See in a couple of weeks.

    Keep writing.

    ~Angela Scott

    • admin says:

      yay! So cool that you are now looking at old stories!

      And thanks for the stalking, of course I stalk you right back!

      Enjoy Hawaii! Very jealous!

  2. I found two rejections waiting for me this morning in my inbox–one warm, the other a form-letter–so I can feel your pain. What did I do? Sent them to other markets as fast as possible. For me, that’s the only way I can get over my “rejections blues.”

    • admin says:

      I didn’t send the story in the same day, but it found it’s way to another publisher this week. I really should do what you do, just send it off to the next right away!

  3. Sealey says:

    I am good with deadlines. That’s how I beat procrastination. Well, I don’t beat it, necessarily,:P I still do it, but there’s a point at which I have to just shut up and write–because of the deadline. It forces me to finish something I’d normally spin my wheels on for YEARS! Good luck dusting off all your old ones. I think applying what you’ve learned to old stories is great!

    • admin says:

      I am not good at deadlines. Today was a deadline for my non-fiction project, and I am far from finished. I did however move the deadline up to the 15th, because I made more changes than anticipated.

      It must be different if the deadline is set by a publisher and not yourself though!

      And thanks! It is fun dusting off.

  4. MattJ says:

    I don’t fear rejections. I find that if I look back on my life, there are much worse things I’ve lived through, so a story rejection isn’t so bad.

    Plus, with W1S1, there’s too dang many out there!

    Congrats on your persperistence.

    • admin says:

      Well, rejections can bring back old fears and that is why some people get really blocked.

      And yes! Ever since I started w1s1 I have so many stories out there.

      I have this new rule now: positive rejections are signs the story is good, just not for this market :)

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