Looking for application management software? Learn about Submittable for organizations. Learn about Submittable for organizations.

Calling Time On Procrastination


I love writing. I love squirreling myself away with my new notebook, fancy pen that doesn’t smudge, non-glitchy laptop, and all the ideas my head can conjure and hold. I love contributing to websites and blogs, and I love updating my own website and blog.

‘Starting means there is a chance of failure…’ Illustration by Josh Quick

Not only do I love writing, I love learning about writing and completing courses to better run my freelance writing business. I love reading the success stories and income reports of fellow writers and bloggers, and I love the daily emails that come in from successful businesspeople, containing handy guidance and career advice…

Hang on a minute. What a perfect picture I have just painted. Something doesn’t ring true though, so I am calling time on my imaginationfor now. While I do love all of the things mentioned above, I love the idea of them more than the reality. The biggest clue should have been in the first linehow many pens don’t smudge at all?

Whenever I sit down to write, my mind runs wild. I imagine:

  • A gleaming notebook filled with prose that will change the lives of all who read it
  • My own income reports, which I will publish to inspire those at the start of their own writing career 
  • Owning a dogthis is my number one success criteria because if I own a dog, it means I am successful enough to write from home and devote time to said dog

These visions, however, do absolutely nothing to advance my writing career and today I am calling time on procrastination. Yes, I have had work published, and yes I send out pitch emails regularly. However, I spend far too much time on the following:

  • Taking courses
  • Reading daily emails from successful and inspirational leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship, marketing, and writing
  • Starting pieces without following through
  • Tweaking the pages of my website

Each of the above have value, of course. A well-chosen online course could enhance my knowledge and skills; the emails sent by successful people like Danny Iny, Ramit Sethi, Gina Horkey, Chandler Bolt, and many others contain extremely helpful information; starting pieces is obviously necessary in order to finish pieces; and a well-designed website will help attract new customers. However…

Absolutely none of those things really moves me forward. On their own, they only serve to offer my feeble brain the impression of  working hard, taking action, and developing my career. Still, there is only one thing that can truly allow me to achieve these goals, and I’m sure you are already at the answer faster than I can type it.

Writing. Writing, not procrastination, is the thing that will help me to develop my writing career. It sounds simple, but getting started can be remarkably difficult. Starting means there is a chance of failure; starting means taking full control rather than absolving myself of responsibility by taking someone else’s courses and reading their emails.

Starting, however, is the only way forward. The more you write, the easier it becomes. The more you write, the more confident you will be in your skills as a writer. The more you write, the closer you will come to achieving your dreams.

I certainly hope that the more I write, the closer I will come to owning a dog.

I love writing.

Looking for a few new ways to sate your hunger for procrastination? You might enjoy these guilt-free writing distractions

author headshot
Mary Ann Davison (Guest Blogger)

Mary Ann Davison is a writer, archivist, and mom of three young girls. She has written for For HerTheThings.com, Your Family History magazine, and musician Eleanor Corr’s blog. In her spare time (ha!) she dreams of dog ownership and shiny new notebooks. She also dreams the impossible dreama full night’s sleep. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.