Thursday, May 12, 2016

Procrasting or Regrouping?

by Paffi S. Flood

Okay, I'm supposed to be revising my novel. After spending weeks going through critique notes, I worked my way into a hole, not knowing in which direction to take my manuscript. At this point, I knew I needed a break. Some might call it procrastination, a theme that appears to be prevalent in our country. Just a search of the word brought up more than sixteen million results. Wow.

But, I have to argue, that’s not the case here. Instead of procrastinating, I would like to call this regrouping. Yes, just like armies after a defeat, since this feels similar. With words and ideas swirling inside my head, I needed to do something that would bring me out and keep my hands busy. Something, where I could see the results appear before my eyes. I could have cleaned, since it seems to be a favorite rousing activity of my author friends. I also could have sewed, quilted, scrapbooked, but instead I painted.

Going through the process of choosing the design and the colors allowed my brain to get lost. Since I do geometric patterns, the accuracy to a centimeter of each drawing allowed my mind to be completely engaged. The smell of the paint, the feel of brush strokes against the canvas, and the coming to life of the design helped me see the progress every hour of the day. It was Zen, personified.

Three weeks on, I’ve finished three works, and with a sense of accomplishment behind me, I’m now ready to tackle the story, the characters, and their conflicts. Somewhere in the measuring, the cutting, and the painting, I became aware of which path my protagonist will travel. To where exactly, I’m not sure. Right now, this is the best I can do, since nothing in writing is ever black and white, other than the words and the pages, themselves.


Paffi S. Flood is the author of A Killing Strikes Home. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.


  1. Great post! Indeed, sometimes we must step away from our WIP and do something else to get a new perspective.

  2. I should've signed, that it was me, Marilyn Meredith.

  3. Right on the money. I'm in exactly the same place as you on a WIP, but I can see my way back to it now -- having taken time to do a million other things and work on some different writing while percolating what I should do next.

  4. Thank you, Marilyn. Yes, stepping away does give a new perspective; thereby, energizing us to move forward.

  5. Percolating is also a great word for this, Debra. Best of luck with your WIP!

  6. Interesting designs!! I'm sure your book has an interesting design as well, and it will be revealed as you resume work. I enjoyed this post very much :-) --kate