I was working on a New Year's post, but I really wasn't feeling it. Mostly, it's because I was using 3-400 words to say "Happy New Year!" and nothing else of substance.
I have book news, but I can't share it yet. There definitely isn't any book news in any images or pictures that may or may not be shared on this post, so you probably shouldn't even look.
And in the absence of book news, as many of you know, I'm always struggling to think of what I should share in this space. If I were you, I'd probably only be following this blog to find out about new book releases, and the second there's a post that isn't about the next book, I'm out.
However, today I decided to talk about what's really on my mind. Which has to do with how I write and produce books.
And that "how" is very simple: I panic.
Tim Urban, on his excellent blog Wait But Why (which you should totally read), has a famous post about procrastination. He does a TED talk on the same subject, which I haven't linked but you can easily find on YouTube.
In this post, Tim imagines two forces battling in the procrastinator's brain: the Instant Gratification Monkey and the Panic Monster.
The Monkey lives in your brain and always begs you for something now. It tells you to check Reddit every two seconds, and that you can always start working in just a second, because now you should watch that new YouTube video.
The only thing that scares away the Instant Gratification Monkey is the Panic Monster. When you panic, when the deadline is looming and you have no time left and you're going to fail the class, the Panic Monster takes over. And now the Monkey runs away. It's easy to avoid procrastination when you're panicking.
This concept resonated with me so much that, a few years ago, I actually bought a plush Instant Gratification Monkey that I keep around my house. Here he is lurking behind my laptop as we speak:
I've written a lot of books. More than most people do. But all of them, I've written while the Panic Monster is in charge. Which means I durdle around for too long and then shotgun out a book in a panic.
That's not great. So I've been working on trying to control my procrastination, so that I can write books in a steady, healthy way, rather than with the Panic Monster at the wheel.
...although I haven't been super successful thus far. Maybe tomorrow.
P.S. For real, though, go read Wait But Why.
This book has been out forever at this point.
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