The Art of Procrastination

Now I’m writing this article about procrastination while I procrastinate…

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What is it about Procrastination that is so appealing? It’s not that we set out to procrastinate, but while we are doing it, it can feel soothing. And yet, so amazingly stressful. It is fascinating some of the excuses we justify just so that we can continue to procrastinate.

“It won’t take me that long to actually do it, so I can wait a bit longer.”

“I’ll start right after I finish…”

“It’s just not the right time to start yet…”

“I’m just so busy right now…”

My current procrastination project is my Memoir. I’ve worked on this book for two years now. I put off writing it because it was highly emotional, which I admit was some procrastination, but it was also that I really wasn’t ready for people to read my story yet. It took me a month to actually write, thank you NaNoWriMo. I spent 3 months pretending to edit which was me telling myself that I would get to it, but I was too busy with any number of things. A few times I told myself that it would wait because there wasn’t actually a deadline. Then Camp NaNoWriMo came around and I decided that it was time.

Now that I’ve revised it and edited it multiple times, I put off deciding how I wanted to publish. I did a lot of research, but even after I made my mind up, I kept putting off working towards publication. That was about a year. I know exactly what I want to do and how, but even with all the resources out I need, I still keep procrastinating. I’m currently working on:

  1. Making a list of Literary Agents
  2. Writing a query
  3. A last edit polish
  4. Finding Beta Readers

I find myself with prospective beta readers and I still can’t seem to get myself into gear.

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Now I’m writing this article about procrastination while I procrastinate… Talk about avoidance. What is it that makes us put off something that is clearly important to ourselves?

It could be that due to the high emotional nature of my memoir, I am just not ready to put it into print. It could be that I’m having some self esteem issues now that I have a beta reader and don’t think my writing is up to par. Maybe I feel that my story isn’t important enough for other people to read. Or better yet, maybe my fear of rejection has stopped me in my tracks and is filling me with excuses. I can’t be rejected if I don’t try… right?

So while I am being honest here, let me admit to what I find myself doing instead of getting my memoir finalized.

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  • Cleaning detailed things that could take a long time
  • Cooking unnecessary and over-complicated recipes
  • Over researching pointless or useless information
  • Starting new writing projects
  • Reading books
  • Starting new craft projects

I’m hoping that I will pep talk myself with this article so that I can get myself moving forward.

What have you been putting off lately and why? What tactics and excuses do you use to justify it?

This post was featured on Voice of Literature e-zine.

Unicorn Swirled Happiness?

Did you get a chance to try the Unicorn Frappe?

I had to break down and give the Unicorn Frappe a try. I know! It’s not even coffee! I don’t go to Starbucks just for coffee though. I love their non-coffee drinks a good bit. So when I read that this drink was more like a Mango Milkshake with some pizazz, I knew I would be one of those people lining up for a taste of the magical color swirls.

To start off, the colors were fantastic! The bright colors made me feel a little magical inside. I know the lengthy complaints of what they had to put in that cup to make those colors, I’ve been hearing them since the release. Unless you research and monitor everything you eat and drink, then it’s not going to be much different than what you are already consuming. Next was the taste. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I received that first sip on my taste buds, but it blew my mind. To me, it tasted like those orange creamcicles that I would eat as a kid. You know the kind, they had to thin orange layer on the outside and were white on the inside.  It tasted EXACTLY like those. I gave the straw a swirl so I could see what the blue swirls were about. Apparently I didn’t do enough reading before purchasing. It was a sour blue raspberry powder. I gave it an A+ for shock value. There was a moment of regret, mostly because I really don’t like super sour stuff. After a happy squeal in my car, I swirled the straw around some more and took another drink. If you let the drink get a little melty, it starts turning from pink with blue swirls to smaller blue swirls with purple radiating away from the blue. It was pretty fun to watch.

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Needless to say, the drink was MAGICAL! I was super disappointed that they were SOLD OUT of every location in the Denver Metro area near me by the next day, so I only got the one. I’m really hoping that Starbucks will decide to bring them back, and hopefully give their poor overworked employees a raise the week they re-release it. Of course I posted pictures on Snapchat and showed everyone the magical happiness that I was gulping down. First question was if it was good, then what did it taste like. A few of my friends did point out how much sugar it had, but that didn’t bother me too much. If you get any of the sugar loaded drinks, it was comparable. See the picture below.
Unicorn vs Java

This is a side by side screen shot from http://www.starbucks.com showing nutritional information of 2 drinks. One is the Unicorn Frappuccino Blended Creme and the other is the Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee. Both are non-customized size Grande. The drink on the left has 59 grams of sugar while the drink on the right has 66 grams of sugar. While I left the labels off the screenshot, there is one clue as to which nutritional fact page belongs to which drink. The Unicorn Frappe is a creme blend while the Java Chip Frappe is a coffee blend. If you look at the bottom of the picture, you will see that the drink on the left with 59 grams of sugar has 0 caffeine, while the drink on the right with 66 grams of sugar has 110 milligrams of caffeine.

The Unicorn Frappe actually has less sugar, carbohydrates, and calories than the Java Chip Frappe. Now, this isn’t much of a surprise because it is a well known fact that Starbucks loads it’s blended drinks with sugar, but it might be a surprise because the colorful drink actually has less sugar (not by much) than the coffee drink.

 

Did you get a chance to try the Unicorn Frappe? How would you rate it? If you didn’t get a chance, would you try it if they brought it back?

To Memoir or Not to Memoir…

A lot of people question whether or not they should write a memoir about their life.

A lot of people question whether or not they should write a memoir about their life. I just finished writing a memoir myself and I have a lot of people tell me that I’m too young to write a memoir. So let’s talk about what a memoir actually is. A memoir talks about a specific aspect of the writer’s life. So it could be a specific event that spans a very short time, or it could be several years but still pertains to that specific event. There are a lot of misconceptions about memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies, even for those in the writing/reading world.

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For example: A person is deployed overseas, sees action, and struggles with C-PTSD. If the writer limits the book to their deployment, wartime action, and the struggles they endured afterwards because of the deployment; that would be a memoir. If that same person’s book started when they were born until current day, that would be an autobiography. If a writer wrote a book about that person, studied their entire life, and wrote the book from birth until death – that is a biography. In theory, a teenager or even a child could write a memoir. Age has no correlation to memoirs.

I recently finished my memoir about surviving childhood sexual assault (CSA). It was limited to the time that I was being abused, the Complex – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) I suffered through for years afterward, how I overcame my C-PTSD, and then the re-incarceration of my abuser when he was convicted of recently raping another child. My memoir focuses on how that abuse affected my life and the cycle of abuse. It does not talk about my life before the abuse or aspects of my life that were not affected.

When it comes to reading, I read all types of books, from memoirs and biographies to most genres of fiction. It can be hard for people to change genres or from fiction or non-fiction, but sometimes it is nice to read something from the norm.

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Do you read fiction or non-fiction? What person in history would you like to read more about?

After defining a memoir, would you ever consider writing one? Have you already written one? If you would consider writing one, what would you like/need to write about?

 

Coffee and Writing

The idea that coffee and writing goes hand in hand, but does it really?

I’ve been writing for years now, and drinking coffee. The idea that coffee and writing goes hand in hand, but does it really? What is it about the stereotypical writer sitting in a coffee shop with their notebook writing with a steaming aromatic cup of joe always within reach?

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Some people opt for tea instead of coffee, but that topic is for another day. There is no end to the possibilities when discussing tea. Back to the topic of the day. Coffee. Some enthusiasts believe that there is only one way to make a cup of coffee. A mug and hot coffee: no sugar, no cream, no additives at all. Other enthusiasts will try just about any combination once. With all the possibilities, it is hard to get into the world of life altering delicious coffee.

I must admit, there is something inspiring about sitting at a favorite spot with my preferred writing tools (paper and pen or my trusty laptop) sipping on a cup of coffee. There is an immediate dissipation of all stress in my life. Combine this with my TG Lurgen music mix on YouTube, and I don’t have a care in the world unless it involves writing.

When I walk into a coffee shop, I instantly get overwhelmed. I’m not a connoisseur of coffee. Honestly, I make my own coffee at home and just throw together a great combination of ingredients that I will never be able to exactly replicate again. I can stand in front of the menu and read the variations of lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and brews and not have a clue about most of it. I usually stick to macchiatos or frappuccinos depending on whether I want hot or cold.

I think it is time to go on a coffee adventure to discover all the great flavors of coffee.

What about you? Let me know if you are an expert or novice coffee drinker. What is your go to drink for writing?