Procrastination: The Eighth Deadly Sin

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Eighth Sin.”

Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony are known as the Seven Deadly Sins that we, mere mortals, were taught not to commit or else our souls will burn in hell. Now for the purposes of this writing prompt, I should imagine the Pope emailed me personally (and maybe a bunch of other writers whose souls he thought might be in need of saving ) and asked me to suggest an eighth deadly sin to add to the existing ones.

It didn’t take me long to come up with the idea, because instead of looking around at other lost souls, I looked within. What is my worst sin that could definitely shoot my soul into the depths of Gehenna? Funny, because I just found out that lying isn’t a deadly sin, and then, I remembered Abraham lied twice (Genesis chapters 12 and 20)! That’s right, liars won’t go to hell. However, I’ll stick to the best policy and be honest. My greatest sin, I think, is procrastination. Guilty as charged. Combined with the other seven, I’m damned!

I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.

~ Rabindarath Tagore

Like many writers, my purpose for writing is to inform, entertain and inspire my readers. I want to become a great writer whose works change lives. Such a lofty aim for someone who barely writes. I have three fiction works in progress and this blog that lurks in my laptop waiting to be written and published, but as you might guess, there’s always something else to do — whether it’s justified as important as cleaning the house, doing the laundry, or socializing on Facebook. I’ll be damned twice!

I needed intervention. Exactly the reason why I joined Blogging 101 in the first place. I’m also reading Akash Karia’s book, Anti-Procrastination for Writers — How to Stop Procrastinating, Start Writing and Create a Daily Writing Habit. I’m not done reading yet, but in the first chapter, Akash points out that writers need self-discipline so we don’t end up wasting the day doing trivial things. We are accountable only to ourselves. He adds that “getting started is the key to beating procrastination” and introduced the solar flaring technique which “refers to starting off by working on a very small piece of the task you’ve been dreading. However, the momentum you gain from starting your task gives you a new burst of energy and allows you to go on to tackle more and more of the project”. Well, that’s just about the book’s first chapter and I’m feeling fired up already.  You won’t be reading this if I’m not, right? So if you’re a sinner like me, stop fidgeting, get your engines warmed up and start writing. Then no one goes to hell.

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2 thoughts on “Procrastination: The Eighth Deadly Sin

  1. Testify!! Lately I feel like all I’m doing is procrastinating, I’m certainly busy and feel like I don’t have enough time but the truth is I’m letting fear get in the way of my progress. Have you read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott? I appreciate how she details the excruciating process of writing. I’m curious about the book you’re reading. Hope to hear more about it!!

    1. Hi Curly Mom, I guess we just have to be honest with ourselves when it comes to our work. Is it really “writer’s block”, or just the fear of not writing good enough? Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott is great, actually one of my treasured books on writing. Akash Karia’s book, Avoiding Procrastination for Writers, focuses on writers’ procrastination issues so I highly recommend it. Thanks for dropping by!

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