Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Art of Procrastination TED Talk with Tim Urban

Well, howdy!

It's been a while since I've hung out with you here. I've spent the better part of the last year doing a career-changing apprenticeship with these three dudes and my brilliant friend Natasha Sass and a community of amazing indie authors.

There's also a good amount of s*&;t going down in my personal life. I'm fine; my family is fine. Other than that, I won't go into details, even though I know that mentioning it will make you curious about it. (Totally not fair, feel free to text me, friends!)

Do me a favor and channel that curiosity. Whenever you meet someone, or interact with someone, consider what stuff they might be going through behind the scenes that you don't know about. Imagine it. Then give people the benefit of the doubt. Compassion. You don't have to know what people are going through to be kind and supportive.

But, ugh. Let's get off of the topic of me. :)

Let's talk about our dreams.

More specifically, let's talk about our dreams that we are deferring RIGHT NOW.

To help with this, check out this super funny TED Talk. Go ahead, push play. I'll wait.

(Can't see the TED talk? Check it out here: )

My favorite part? Around 7:30 when the PANIC MONSTER hits the scene.

But most important for us in our creative lives are the problems Tim talks about around 11 minutes into the talk. The problems that can happen when there are no deadlines. No panic monster.

This is not to say that you should feel guilty or ashamed if you have left some of those circles on your life calendar blank. If you haven't pursued your dreams every waking moment.

But let's take a hard look at our goals. Let's chase our instant gratification monkey up the tree, get out of the dark playground, and get to work.


Don't let ONE MORE CIRCLE go by without investing in your dream.

(I guess I need to put down the netflix remote. Even though I just discovered like nine seasons of the Vampire Diaries. OMG. The angst of forever teenage love. And *squee* the Arrow has a role in a few episodes.)

So, if you need a panic monster, find one. :)

Ask a friend to help you with accountability. Email them every day, or once a week, outlining your progress toward your dream. Do the same for them. Knowing you have to write that email is a really motivating way to get those daily tasks done. Or keep a word count spreadsheet. See how many days you can string together where you worked on a project. It sucks to put a zero in a word count spreadsheet.

You might want to reach out to Tim Urban at his blog and tell him what his TED Talk made you think about; what changes it made in the way you go after your dreams.

If you're wondering what we're doing at the Writers' Loft, check out our new blog here.  Even if you're not local to metrowest Massachusetts, you can be a part of our supportive community now! Stop by and say hi!

And, lastly, will I see you at NESCBWI? There's a few spots still open--register here. I'll be talking (in a workshop on Sunday) about setting yourself up in your creative career so you CANNOT FAIL. How? Through deliberately building your support system. It's easy--I'll help you!!

So, what's your dream? How are you working toward it? How are you outwitting your instant gratification monkey?


  1. A former student of mine (who must be close to 30 now) messaged me yesterday saying she was starting to write a book. She asked me to read through her initial drafts (as she writes them) and keep her accountable to her Writing 5x a Week promise. I'm now an Official #AccountabilityNag.

  2. Love this!! Maybe she can return the favor and keep you accountable as well. :) We all need this sort of thing in our writing lives!

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