Before the Draft: Procrastination

When I started this series a few weeks ago, I thought I’d be much further along in the process by now. But then there was WriteOnCon and a contest for which I needed to critique others and my son started Kindergarten and …

… and those are all excuses.

The truth is, I hate drafting! And while I was moving along quite nicely with my research earlier this month, I let myself get distracted. I kept asking myself why I wasn’t closer to starting the draft, and that’s when it occurred to me that I was procrastinating. Because the longer I take to finish my research and develop the characters and start outlining the plot, the longer it will be until I have to sit down and actually draft.

I know for some people the draft is the best part. They love getting those initial words on the page. For me, it’s torture. I would much rather be presented with a first draft to revise and polish. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I have to do both.

Anyway, now that I realize I’ve been procrastinating, I’m going to knuckle down. You can all hold me accountable. I will start drafting the second week of September. That leaves me the rest of this week and next week to complete my other “before the draft” steps. I have at least two more posts in this series planned, and I may not post one of them until after I’ve started, but I will make drafting a priority. And I’m sure you’ll see me grumble about it here, too :).

Where are you on the drafting/revising scale? Do you prefer one over the other, or are you a lucky writer who loves both?

Other posts in this series:
Before the Draft: Research
Before the Draft: Character Development
Before the Draft: Outlining in Scrivener
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About Michelle I. Mason

I'm a full-time writer, focusing mainly on middle grade and young adult fiction with some freelance PR writing and editing on the side. I'm also a wife, mom, Christian, violinist, avid reader and St. Louis Cardinals fan. And I watch way too much TV.
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13 Responses to Before the Draft: Procrastination

  1. Akoss says:

    I used to be a prolific first drafter because I’d rather write something new and enjoy the rush than sit down and revise what I already wrote. However I’ve been learning to make time for revision and I’m learning to enjoy it even though it’s not the same.

    • I so wish I loved that part! There are moments once I get started that I enjoy. Snippets of scenes will run through my head and I’ll get excited, but then filling the rest out is hard work.

  2. tpolen says:

    I’m with you – I’d much rather do revising. I’m getting ready to rewrite a completed novel from ground zero, but keep procrastinating. Wish I could just revise, but it needs too much rewriting.

    • I’m not sure how I’d feel about a total rewrite. I did revise an MG to a YA, which involved upping the word count from 43,000 to 77,000, so there were a lot of new scenes, but I was still able to keep many of the existing scenes close to the same. I didn’t mind that as much because in many ways it still felt like revision. But I haven’t started from ground zero on anything yet. Good luck with yours!

  3. For the last four years I’ve written nonstop. Never a problem with procrastination. Then summer hit and I had to babysit g-kids so I started a blog, and got hooked on twitter, reconnected to facebook, pinned on Pinterest, and pretty much put off writing. So now g-kids are in school, blog is up, everything is set for success, right? So why can’t I get back into my writing life? Answer–edit what I’ve already written (2 books back) and continue the roller coaster again.
    BTW, I need to get off this site and start…right…now!

  4. Pingback: Before the Draft: Research | Michelle I. Mason

  5. Becky says:

    I love both! And maybe this is a writer sin, but I tend to research as I write. Most of the time, I’m not sure what’s going to happen in my book (besides the basic plot) until I get there.

    • It’s not a sin at all. I learned with my first novel that if I didn’t figure most of the research out in advance, I’d let myself get sidetracked for quite a while. As a result, it took me forever to write that book. But everyone’s different, so if your way works for you, go for it!

  6. Pingback: Before the Draft: Character Development | Michelle I. Mason

  7. Pingback: Before the Draft: Outlining in Scrivener | Michelle I. Mason

  8. Pingback: My Writing Process Blog Hop | Michelle I. Mason

  9. Pingback: Procrastination, Thy Name Is Michelle | Michelle I. Mason

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