Flagging – (Lack of) Progress Report

I did wonder whether I could continue the flag analogy on these progress reports, but given the update I’m about to post, it seemed there was only one possible title for this post. Sadly. Have you ever found yourself bogged down in a cycle of procrastination? Apart from the old-fashioned rocket-up-the-bum, do you have any foolhardy tricks for getting back into the groove?

Author: Hubert Berberich

My goals are set out here: https://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/flag-raising/ and, to some extent, here: https://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/bookers-seven-progress-report/


My goal is to finish this edit by 1st July so March was meant to be a big month for me. Instead, I largely neglected him, and then got into a mood with him after my pitch slam suggested I might have deeper problems with such a bleak story. I feel the novel needs a stronger sub-plot, but that equates to substantial revision and it’s all sufficiently daunting that I haven’t got back into it. Now we’re halfway through April and I’m still procrastinating from even opening the file.


I did manage to submit in March, although it was touch and go for a while, and with the exception of one post I missed by being away, I’ve kept up with my blog. I’m focusing on this as a good point – something that didn’t go wrong!


I’ve finished my first edits of Booker’s Seven. The table now looks like this

Story Idea

Booker Plot


Colonisation Overcoming the monster Awaiting Beta Readers
Wild West Voyage / Return with stage 1 Beta reader
Concert Tragedy Awaiting Beta Readers
Road Trip Comedy Needs post-beta edits
Stargazing Rebirth Awaiting Beta Readers
Robin Hood Quest With Stage 2 Beta readers
Phoenix Rags to Riches With Stage 2 Beta readers

If Beta Reading is something you’d like to do, and think you do well, I’d love to hear from you!

My husband and music collaborator has been busy again, but he’s started putting some music to my lyrics from February, and I’ve started thinking about edits to make some of the lyrics better (or at least, shorter).

My writing group, Moosemeat, are starting work on our annual chapbook, so I need to prepare a 500 word story for that. I’ve done one, but I hate it. I can’t quite work out whether to run with radical re-writing or starting again. So, like Eric, it’s in a state of being ignored.

By way of excuse, I’ve been busy with other things and under the weather, as well as the fact that a lot of life-related stuff has got in the way of concentrating on writing. But the truth is, if my heart was in it, I’d have fitted writing in around these things. I need to push myself back into the groove now it’s April, before another month slips by… Wish me luck!


Filed under Booker's Seven, Writing

6 responses to “Flagging – (Lack of) Progress Report

  1. Good luck! I tried a million things to force myself out of procrastinating, but found they were just another way to avoid things. Eventually, I found the only way to shake off delay is to grit my teeth grab myself by the collar and hurl myself face first into it.
    That’s just me though. Again best wishes!

  2. abodythatworks

    I think half the battle is admitting when you’re procrastinating, so you keep that flag analogy flying!!

    I have the world’s supply of anti-procrastination tips – here’s my two favourites in case they’re helpful. First one is to set a timer for 25 minutes and then work until the timer goes off and then STOP for at least 5 mintes (again on the timer). I’ve found a lovely rhythm develops and somehow my procrastination patterns get circumvented by the almost mechanical control of the timer. I’ve seen this called the Pomodoro Technique online.

    Second is one that I’ve seen advised by various writers in interviews which is to give yourself two options: work or do absolutely nothing. Both fine and allowed options, neither a reason to feel guilty. However, the doing nothing one means exactly that – no internet, no phone, no music, no twiddling your toes. It’s remarkably how attractive work can look when the alternative is gazing at your belly button!

    By the way, I’m more than happy to be a Beta-reader if you’re not already overwhelmed with offers. Inbox me, as the cool kids say 😉

    • Oh, I will indeed inbox you! Yay.

      I love your two hints for avoiding procrastination. I might even try them in combination. 25 minutes – you can either do nothing, or edit. I know that once I start editing, I get back into the groove pretty quickly, so I don’t know why it’s so hard this time. Except the all the procrastination is valid stuff as well – it all needs doing, just not necessarily in this order!

  3. I wish you luck!
    It takes doing a thing to get it done!
    Just do it! Smiles!

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