Most of us procrastinate; it’s been part of human behaviour for thousands of years. However, for about a quarter of adults procrastination is so chronic and debilitating it stops them completing important projects, causing them to drop out of education, limiting career prospects and fostering a negative sense of self.
Specialist writers’ counsellor and creativity consultant, Alison Manning from A Mind of One’s Own, says procrastination is one of the top difficulties that her novelist, poet and screenwriting clients identify in their writing practice. She says, “We often joke about procrastination, but it’s a source of profound frustration, misery and despair for some. These writers know what they want to do, the intention is there, yet the writing keeps getting put off in favour of less important activities. On the other hand, some writers seem to have no trouble with procrastination at all. It’s fascinating.”
In a research project linked to her psychology study, Manning is now exploring the factors that enhance or reduce procrastination tendencies in writers.
“Although social media, self-help books and my direct observation indicate that many writers consider procrastination a big deal, there’s very little research about writers’ experience of procrastination and its underlying factors. The closest research examines university students and academics who have been shown to procrastinate more for writing-related projects than for other study or work requirements. Yet once again, there is a real gap in understanding why some procrastinate a lot and others procrastinate very little.”
Manning is now inviting Australian and international fiction writers to register for her research project. The project is open to all fiction writers over the age of 18, whether or not they have troubles with procrastination and whether or not their work has been published. Taking part is a two step process: first step is to register, and the second step is completing the online questionnaire when it’s sent out between May and July.
Registration is now open. All contact details will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and all questionnaire responses will be anonymous. Once completed, the research results will be made available to participating writers.
To register for the project go to: http://www.amindofonesown.com/research.html or contact Alison Manning on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0428 835 304.