The Procrastination Wheel of Suffering: Part Five – Anxiety, Deadlines and Binge Writing

Still spinning on the wheel…

 Overwhelm; Deadline; Anxiety Threshold

As the final deadline for completing your project becomes imminent, reality breaks through and you become motivated by dread and fear of failure. As this fear of failure becomes more powerful than the fear of facing your writing, you are propelled into desperate action.

You imagine the awful consequences of not completing your work on time, and are genuinely baffled about how you could have put yourself in this predicament again. You had promised yourself you would not wait until the last minute to begin, but you did.

Now, however, there is no time for wallowing in self-pity, daydreaming, or lecturing yourself. Somehow you have to do it, and even though the challenge seems monumental, you force yourself to face the task.

Binge; Disappointment; Rationalizing

At this point on the Wheel of Suffering, a last-minute, deadline driven frenzy of writing erupts. With or without the use of stimulants of various sorts, long binges of work ensue in an adrenalized state of hyperactivity.

Everything else in life is sidelined and forgotten as the monomaniacal focus on writing takes center stage. You might feel both dread and thrill in trying to beat the clock, and perhaps a perverse sense of satisfaction that you were able to procrastinate for so long and yet will still be able to complete the project.

Generally, if you finish in this way, you know you could have done a better job if you had not been forced to write in a manic binge. There may be a sense of disappointment in either the final product, yourself, or both. After this disappointment comes the ego- soothing mental exercise where you tell yourself that you really are more capable than the writing shows, and that you could have done better if you had had sufficient time.

(to be continued, and continued, and continued…)

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About David Arnot Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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