I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Procrastination is an Action Verb

The due date for my first Ponderers' blog post stared at me from the bright red circle on my calendar. I work great under pressure, so I ignored the deadline and focused on my long list of other priorities pressing in on me.

I could pull this off. I would wake up the next morning and wow myself with something wonderful. But the next day, the due date . . . nothing.

"Ginger, can you have a blog post by 12:00 AM EST?" asked my dear friend and fellow Ponderer Beth.

What? 12:00 EST? I looked at my clock: 10:30 AM CST. That meant it was already 11:30 EST. Oh God, help me here. Even if I edited an old post from my other blog, I would want to run it by Beth, aka The Evil Editor.

Oh, it's late, it's sooooo late!

"Ginger, don't worry about it. I'll post for you," offered Beth.

And she did. Was I the only Ponderer who couldn't get her act together? I have a lot on my plate, but something twisted inside me. I felt sick about letting others down.

I pondered--yes, pondered--how procrastinating failed me this time. Usually, I write a rough draft or a few words and, within a couple of days, I write a decent post. Not this time.

And that's when it hit me.

I had never taken the time to write the first word, idea, or thought.

As writers, procrastination is part of our creative process. We mull things, as Roxanne pointed out in her post last week. But I hadn't done a single moment of mulling, so there was nothing for my mind to work from. A wise man once said--I think it was bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins--"You cannot edit what you have not written."

We've all met people that tell us about that book they are going to write. Yet 99% of them will admit they have yet to put one word onto paper.

Procrastinate if you must, but remember: Writing is a verb!


  1. This is a great post, Ginger. I'm great at procrastinating, especially writing-related jobs. Like you said, procrastination is part of the process--I'm pondering what I want to say. I'm so thrilled to see you posting. You're an important part of the team. :)

  2. Ooohh, you hit a nerve. I find that when I can't write because of job or family I really burn inside to put words on paper. But then when I have a day that I could write, I find every excuse in the world to do something else. I, like others, want to HAVE written. Great post, Ginger!

  3. Whether you procrastinated or not, the end product was fabulous! Sometimes we think better under presser. We push out the non-essentials that demand our minute by minute attention and focus on what needs to be done and because we are focused, the end result is our best work.
    Great post, Ginger!

  4. You turned a mishap into some great writing--and thoughts that are true for all writers. And you highlighted one of the strengths of the MBT Ponderers: We're a team!

  5. Awesome post Ginger! I saw the title and thought, "Oh shoot." Thankfully, I read it this morning, when I still have time to fix my procrastination for the day. Phew.

  6. Good job, and kudos also to Beth who saves lots of our bacon. I know your head and heart are full w/ lots of considerations re. MIL, so well-done in the midst of all that. You've given us lots to ponder.

  7. I used to say procrastination was one of my spiritual gifts...'til some chastising person told me that wasn't in the Bible. Darn. Now it's just the Paul-like thorn in my flesh...

    Great post, G!

  8. Great post, Ginger. It was just what I needed to hear this morning!

  9. Wow Ginger! I really enjoyed that. You hit the nail on the head....guess I better start writing!

  10. Ginger, you're right. Writing IS a verb. Thanks for the reminder.

    When you're waiting for a check in the mail or for your kids' bedtime to finally arrive, time can crawl. But that once a month blogging deadline comes around so quickly. I need to begin pondering a post again.

  11. There's something about transparency that touches the heart, and you did this today for me, Ginger. Last Monday I finally typed the first scene to a new story, but I had procrastinated until my closets were tidied and drawers rearranged. It does feel good to finally, as you say, type those first words.

    But from now on I'll also say that I'm not procrastinating...I'm just pondering.

    Thank's, Beth, for living proof that the Ponderers have my back covered.

  12. Thank you all for such wonderful words of encouragement. Sometimes I think it's hard for strangers to come over and see so many close friends talking about writing without feeling that intimidation that comes with being around other writers. I hope our new friends and the people who happened by can see that we are all in the process. Even those of us that are published struggle with our writing identity at times. My prayer is that this blog brings hope to those that struggle.

    We're all a process, just like our writing;)

  13. Your post reminded me of these quotes:

    "Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead" (Gene Fowler)
    "If I'm trying to sleep, the ideas won't stop. If I'm trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness" (Carrie Latet).

    You're not alone! :-)

  14. Ginger, I so appreciated your post! Procrastination with certain things seems to come so naturally to me! I know, when I procrastinate with writing that I am not alone, and there is comfort in this knowledge. :) Now, I plan to ponder a bit on "the next scene," and then not procrastinate any more today, at least as far as writing goes (housework may be a different story!). Thanks for your honesty and insight!

  15. Oh Ava Pennington, isn't that sooo true!

    Jeanne T, Thanks for your kind words.

  16. Ava, the Carrie quote is SOOO me. lol. Ginger, you're in good company. Looks like there are quite a few procrastinators here. :-)

  17. Jenness, isn't that just like a writer? ;)