Thursday, May 29, 2008

Procrastination, Laziness, and Other Excuses

What happens when we look around our home at a mountain of dirty clothes, outdated Writer's Digest and Poets & Writers magazines that we should've tossed out years ago, or the aquarium that needs cleaning? Are we immediately saddened, or do we say to ourselves that, yes, we will sort the clothes and head off to the laundromat just as soon as we change the water in aquarium, and stack-and-tie the old magazines for the garbage?

I don't think most of us set out to procrastinate, lounge around in bed with the remote control cycling through a week's worth of Netflix movies, with popcorn or Doritos Nacho crumbs accumulating on a dirty t-shirt. It should be more difficult to procrastinate, but it's not. Many people fall into a vicious pattern of procrastination, denying that they are not doing what they're supposed to do, and then blaming everyone within earshot as to why they've not mowed the lawn, washed the clothes, completed the Great American Novel, completed the second or third screenplay draft that will set the movie industry on its ear.

Perhaps there should be a penalty each time we procrastinate. I'm not advocating electroshock therapy or anything extreme, but similar to the previous entry, maybe God would only allow us a set number of monthly excuses before we must take action. We were created with free will, so I don't know how well that idea might play with the folks in communist countries who've always been told what to think and do. What if we could only use each excuse three times, afterward we'd be unable to use it, or we'd forget it altogether?

Does this sound like something out of Science Fiction? A novel by Octavia Butler or Samuel Delaney? It might owe itself to the fact that I've recently been brainstorming and writing a new post-apocalyptic screenplay with two Tunisian brothers that have fast become friends and surrogate brothers. They are very talented, inspiring, and dedicated to the success of the project.

When we meet for brainstorming and writing sessions, I feel empowered, different from when I'm in a Morningside workshop. The surge of energy comes from collaboration that I don't experience when writing or editing alone. What I feel is the possibility of the unknown when Kays or Thameur send pages upon pages of research for our project. They keep me on target with their questions, goals, and artistic vision.

We're in the early stages of forming a collaborative stage and film production company to write, direct, and produce shorts, features, and plays. We're tossing around a few names for the production company (check back here in a few weeks for more developments).

I believe that everything and everyone happens in our lives for a reason. If not for a profile on IndieGoGo, we'd have never met. I've had my moments of procrastination, distraction, and downright laziness, but I've been making progress and overcoming these bad habits (personality glitches) due in part to my Morningside moderator responsibilities and the work we've set out to accomplish in the next few months.

1 comment:

LaConnie said...

Hi Harlem Writer:

Great post.

To a large degree, I think we're all motivated by the energy of others. I know it certainly helps my uh...'procrastination'.

Best of luck to you and your partners in your new venture!!