Some ideas or scenes just need time for you to mull over before you put pen to paper. Even when you’re not consciously thinking about your writing, your subconscious is.
Procrastination in Writing: Pros and Cons
Written by: Christine B.
March 3, 2021
You can call it the creative process, but procrastination happens to every writer. While there are certain downfalls to procrastinating, there are ways that it can benefit your writing as well. Here are the pros and cons of procrastination in writing.
Give Your Mind a Break
Sometimes you just need a break. Taking your time to think through some things – or nothing at all can clear your mind. When you’re ready to write again, your mind is open to all of the possibilities and ideas.
Time to Think
Procrastination can be a good time to brainstorm about your writing. Some ideas or scenes just need time for you to mull over before you put pen to paper. Even when you’re not consciously thinking about your writing, your subconscious is. This may lead to an innovative or creative solution to the issue, project, or scene you’ve put off doing.
Being under pressure can be a good thing for some writers. For some, if they wait until the last minute, it helps motivate them to do well. Some writers flourish under the pressure of an oncoming deadline. However, this does not apply to everyone.
There might be a scene or section of your writing project that you’re dreading. In this case, active procrastination but tending to the half dozen or so small items on your writing list allows you to get a lot done, be more productive, and feel a sense of accomplishment. This might be all you need to then tackle that big scene you’ve been putting off.
Rushing in to deal with this or that project doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be done well or provide any meaningful satisfaction for their completion. You might also find yourself rewriting sections because you didn’t have the right ideas initially or weren’t in the right frame of mind to write. By procrastinating, your decision may be better informed as a result.
Long-term procrastination can cause you to forget the details of your story. It takes longer to write when you constantly have to recheck your notes to learn where you are in your story.
Disorganization is a major con of procrastination. When you constantly procrastinate on writing projects, you’ll eventually have a huge pile of work to do and won’t have enough time to finish everything.
Stress and Anxiety
Anxiety is another con. Constantly worrying about writing but making excuses until the last minute is exhausting. In the time that you’ve stressed or found ways to avoid your writing, you could have been writing.
Rushing your writing in an attempt to meet a deadline will result in poor writing. Setting aside ample time to consistently work on your writing projects leads to a better project altogether. Procrastination kills the time that you could have used to edit or write with a stress-free mindset.
Getting the Wrong Things Done
Focusing on several easy and quick-to-do scenes you could do any time gives you the false reassurance that you’re accomplishing a lot. Granted, this example of procrastination allows you to get things done, yet they’re the wrong things – or are out of priority. So instead of rewriting your intro for the third time, tackle the scene that you’ve been dreading.