Shit’s about to get meta. I’m writing this a day late, because I had unreasonable excuses and then reasonable excuses and then unreasonable excuses. Now I’m finally getting to it as a way of putting off something else.
It’s a vicious thing, procrastination, because there are times when you can actually convince yourself that you’re being productive by procrastinating. “Well, I’ve been meaning to reorganize my bookshelf for months, so really I’m being responsible and not at all procrastinating those pages I’m supposed to edit.” Then there are those times when you become really deep and spiritual, seemingly out of nowhere, but conveniently when you’re either particularly busy/stressful or self-loathing. “Honestly, though, in the grand scheme of things, what is time really? What are deadlines? Why do they exist? Do they matter?”
The best, though, the absolute best, especially as a writer, are the mood-based excuses, when you’ve all but convinced yourself that you have a legitimate mental disorder, that you can’t focus, can’t connect, can’t handle the unimportant day to day malaise because you’re tuned to a different frequency, you’re above this nonsense, and why can’t everyday just be a perfect writing day, an entire lifetime of creative vacationing, because that would be normal for you, not this 40-hour workweek deal, the stuff that everyone else strives and lives for, and you can’t be normal because you don’t want to be normal because you can’t be normal, but what is normal, and is this entire train of thought just its own form of procrastination because you haven’t figured out what your point is yet? “I just don’t feel like it.”
Procrastination is deadly. Procrastination exists in this weirdly symbiotic relationship with depression, a cycle wherein they feed on each other while simultaneously birthing more of themselves. You’re depressed, so you don’t want to work, so you don’t get anything done, so you get even more depressed, so you want to work even less, so you’re even more displeased with yourself, so you get even more depressed, and then eventually you probably die or get hungry or maybe get a brilliant idea and forget how awful you are for a few minutes. And by “you” I clearly mean “I”—but be honest, I probably also mean “you.”
I’m beginning to think that “genius” and “procrastinator” are mutually exclusive terms, that no matter how creative or intelligent you are, if you aren’t smart enough to do meaningful, fulfilling, productive things with your time, you shouldn’t be considered a genius. You can have an IQ of 250+, but if you choose to waste that intellect by putting off your plans and constantly feeling depressed over how much you can’t do, then you’re a dumb ass. There are times when I’m working, when I’m thinking new thoughts and getting words out into the world, that I feel like I have a potential and that I might live up to it. And then there are times I procrastinate, and I, too, am a dumb ass.