Then there are the other things. They are important, but not in the short term. So it's easy for me to put them off.
For example, I want to get our book into the independent bookstores for the weeks preceding Veterans Day in November. That means I need to develop a media sheet and a 30-second pitch, then go around to the bookstores (four, so far, in the Seattle area) and talk to the managers. I have been thinking about these activities for over a month, but just yesterday finally put together the first draft of the media sheet. It took me a couple of hours. I know my book, and I'm pretty sure I know my audience, but I'm not a marketer. When I think about this phase of publishing, I want to curl up in the fetal position. That's why I've put it off for so long.
Here's another one. I'm reading a book called Master Class. The author interviewed older people who are leading vital, active lives - his group consisted of people who have participated in Road Scholar travel and learning activities - and "reverse engineered" what they told him, to develop a strategy for the rest of us. How do we stay active, enthusiastic and fulfilled in our retirement years? He came up with a combination of four factors: socialization, moving, creating, and thinking. There's a grid in the book where you can list the things you do, assign them values for each of the four factors, assess where you're not involved, and find ways to become more active in those areas.
For me, surprisingly, my lowest score comes in "movement". Now, I do participate in exercise classes every weekday morning. At least that's what my calendar tells me. But I actually only went to the class three days last week. I was out of town on Monday and Tuesday and I was mediating on Thursday. I know I need to make up for those days - either in the afternoon, if I'm home, or on the weekend. That's when I procrastinate. I've only made up one of those days. And I absolutely know that exercise is vital for my continued health. It's almost like scheduling the exercise makes it so. Not!
My second lowest score is in creativity, which is no surprise at all. Other than writing, I do nothing in that area. I used to sing in choral groups, play handbells, and crochet. That was years ago, though. I gave them all up in the 80s when I divorced, became a single mom and moved to a new city. I tell myself I can get back to them all, but I don't. And I absolutely know, again, that creativity is important. When I think about taking up something new - watercolors or sketching or flower arranging or quilting, for example, come to mind - I either roll my eyes in boredom or prepare to take the fetal position.
The socializing and thinking are fine on my grid. Socializing usually comes along as it needs to, and thinking is my retreat.
So what is this procrastination thing? I've been very active and involved for the last two years. Is it because I've done the easy stuff already?
Today I'd really like to lie on the couch and read magazines - I have about 30 in the basket. But I'm going to walk a couple of miles in the sunshine instead. And develop the design for the book's business cards and bookmarks.
The fetal position looks awfully good, though.