Who procrastinates? Raise your hands. Wait, you’re reading this, and I can’t see you. Just so that you don’t feel so bad, I want you to know that I procrastinate all the time. Right now, I should be working on a romance short story with the possibility of becoming a script.
Instead, I was playing on Facebook and writing this essay. Most of my teachers and mentors have yelled at me over the years, telling me to concentrate and put my nose to the grindstone. They say if I did that, I could be successful. Who wants to tell them that they were wrong?
Does that seem cynical to you? It probably does, but they were. Over the course of my career, some of the best work I have produced has come from procrastinating. When I was ghostwriting, there were many fo projects that I would wait until the last minute to write—one in particular springs to mind. The client was one of my favorites, she always sent me work, but the stories she wanted me to write were a little out there. And this is coming from someone who wrote a story about twerking dinosaurs.
This particular client had a penchant for having male characters. Usually, anti-heroes or villains turn into females and fall in love with their best friends or mourning men who lost their lives tragically. During this period, I was also working at the Michigan Science Center. So the stories would be put on hold until the very last minute. I would get home, sit at my computer, and pound out 10,000 words in 4 or 5 hours. The stories were always detailed, and the grammar was near perfect.
The same thing happened with my research project for English when I was in college. My project was based on the idea that the Electoral College should be disbanded and elections should rely on the popular vote. Please keep in mind that this was before the infamous election of 2016. That’s right, by procrastinating, I got ahead of several high profile politicians calling for the end of the EC. Take that, Madonna! (I consider that essay being the point where I became an influencer and trendsetter.) In fairness, my professor required us to write drafts and outline (ugh), but I didn’t start writing the final draft until about an hour before it was due. I got an “A” on it and was called a great arguer. Not bad for someone who only wrote for an hour, and the research took about 15 minutes.
This is not to say that I don’t love research. There is nothing better than research, but I love procrastinating even more. What was I doing when I should have been writing these projects? Playing on Facebook, watching How I Met Your Mother or Will and Grace for the thousandth time. In my defense, which is research, let me get back to you on how that works exactly. Then there were the nights out drinking, and what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t drink? A sober one, and nobody likes them.
And apparently, nobody likes a procrastinator either. My boss is yelling at me that I have several projects to finish up. Maybe he needs to have a drink; that way, I like him again.