Honestly, how have I not been struck down for my sins?

I am behind on both my writing commitments because of my incessant need to put off now what I tell myself can be done later. A few minutes ago, I received an email from one of my writing partners basically informing me that I am insane, and I can’t help but agree. She is expecting 7,000 words from me tomorrow, and here I sit wondering if I can squeeze in another episode of Charmed before dinner.

I wanted all of my blog posts to be an insight into how spectacular I am at keeping up with things, and instead I am forced to be honest with you all. I do not have my crap together. I probably never will.

BUT this will not stop me from writing. I received feedback today for a short story I’m writing and there were more red marks on the page than there were black. I felt completely hopeless for about 3.2 seconds and then I realized: this is good. A year ago I wouldn’t let anyone see my work, let alone criticize it. Now I’ve got people I’m accountable to who want to help me rise above my procrastinating, clichéd writing habits.

Slowly, I am getting better. I’m going to be okay. Maybe I haven’t yet kicked all my bad habits, but I’ve kicked a few. That’s not nothing! Now, if you will excuse me I need to pull 7,000 words out of thin air by tomorrow morning.

Happy Memorial Day!

There’s a chance you might die of procrastination. Believe me.

Totally Brief Disclaimer:

I am participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt. It’s hosted by the amazingly inspiring Positive Writer – See more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/#sthash.3T03OCRr.dpuf

Procrastination was killing me. Before you write that off as being one of the four million overly-dramatic statements I make per day, know this: it was LITERALLY killing me. Two years ago I was a mess. Living with undiagnosed depression made every menial task seem like an insurmountable mountain. Eventually I just curled into the fetal position and politely asked God if it was my time to die.

Needless to say it wasn’t a very productive time in my life. That doctor’s appointment I rescheduled three times? Nope. That novel I’d been planning for months? All writing stopped. I put off my responsibilities, telling myself I was too broken to do them right.

One day my parents dragged me to a doctor and she told me what I already knew: if I didn’t fix me I was going to kill myself.

Whew. Let’s take an abrupt left turn away from the sudden truth-bomb-of-darkness I dropped there. Guess what? It got better.

My doctor told me I needed to have some measurement to gauge my recovery. I told her I used to like writing back when I had actual emotions besides despair, and she told me to make myself stick to a writing plan. Little by little, as my word count grew, so would my sanity.

In theory.

Truth of the matter is I think glaring at the first blank page did more to push me over the edge to permanent insanity than anything else. I knew I wasn’t a good enough writer to get published, so why even try? Besides I would just stop writing in the middle of the story, like I always did. And what did I have to say that someone more eloquent hadn’t already said a million times before?

Here’s the hard truth: I was both wrong and right. At that moment I wasn’t good enough to be published, but that didn’t mean I never would be. With every typed word, feverish scribble, and messy sentence I was becoming. Being “good enough” isn’t a goal, so much as a journey you have to commit to each and every day. The person good enough to be published is the one who never stops trying. The moment I realized this, and acted on it, I was already succeeding.

Fun fact: there are billions of people on this planet, and they all have different ideas of comfort, success, love, and pain. Yet even with all this amazing complexity and uniqueness there are threads of kindred spirits, inexplicably and wonderfully linked. Somewhere there is another human being who is going through something you are coming out of and they need to know that there’s good things to come. You’re carrying a message inside you that won’t reach everybody, but it wasn’t made to. Don’t cut the thread tying you to your kindred spirits. Give it a good tug and let them know you’re there too.

Pick up your laptop, or your pen, or your hipster typewriter, and just begin. Telling yourself that you’re not good enough may not be a lie, but it will stay the truth if you never allow yourself to fail and to improve through experience. Let me be your cautionary tale and don’t waste a single moment more lest you accidentally die of procrastination or something. I’m not a doctor, but that’s a real thing. Trust me.

Go. Write. Do it now. Jot down a paragraph or two about how obnoxious you think I am and then sign your name at the bottom and pat yourself on the back. You’re a writer. So go write.