As of right now, I have 18 works-in-progress in that folder on my desktop: a list of articles I want to write, my Great American Fantasy Novel, short stories, scenes for short stories, the eBook of poetry I want to package for Amazon, and even film treatments. It’s kind of ridiculous. I quite honestly could get a foot in the door somewhere by releasing a few of the shorts for publication, but I can’t be arsed to do the legwork. I am also deathly afraid of the rejection, and for letting a passion be my career. I am afraid to put my eggs into one basket, as they say. If I fail at being a writer, I might as well wither away and die. By keeping writing strictly as a hobby that may or may not pay, the pressure is off.
On the flip side, if it’s something I can procrastinate on, I am more than happy to leave it unfinished until the last absolute moment.
At work, we have a monthly project, where we update venues that were assigned to us that month in a communal database. I literally did everything in the first two weeks. All I needed to have done was my supervisors take a look and sign off on it. It is due on the last day of the month, but did I tell them? No, because my perfectionist side told the practical side not to say anything, that I would step back and realize MORE could be done. I ended up finding two or three things that delayed me further because of my own internal audit.
In school, I was the same way. I would wait until maybe two days before an essay is due, get all my thoughts out on paper, save it and move on. The next day, I would edit the inevitable stream of consciousness that was the previous day’s output, and finally, come up with something that I would feel comfortable enough to be graded on. I’ve pulled out so many amazing essays that way. It almost forces me to be creative and kind of go crazy with my thoughts. That’s why I love that my degree is in English. All you have to do is engage the material, whether you agree with it or not. Debate the shit out of it was my philosophy, and it was a very good rule of thumb, as antiquated and misogynist as that term really is.