Recently, I allowed a new client to hurry me. The first draft was garbage. He knew it. I knew it. But since I didn't explain the need for time, I had to suck up the blame. Incidentally, yes, it did occur to me to return his deposit when he announced his impossible deadline. But I didn't. Shame on me.
That said, there are still compelling reasons why we shouldn't delay too long in getting to doing the actual assignment. At the top of the list, of course, is that clients need the stuff. The economy is just-in-time, tilted toward emergencies.
But right behind that reason is the realization that procrastination = the platform for extreme angst. How many times have we tossed and turned in bed because we didn't start even preliminary tasks on the assignment. That suffering can be prevented. All we have to do is put a few toes in the water.
It was 4:00 A.M. before I surrendered to the high price of dragging my feet. I got out of the bed, where I hadn't slept a wink. I walked to my desk in my home office. I gathered all the original website copy the client had sent me to re-imagine. I cracked open a bottle of diet soda. I reviewed all the pages of what had been sent to me. At 6:00 A.M. I returned to bed. I fell right to sleep.
Sure, when I got up at 8:00 A.M. I again procrastinated. I created my posts for my three syndicated blogs. But by 8:45 A.M. I was cranking out the first page of the re-imagination. Despite the lack of a full-night's sleep, I was in the zone.
Why are we such geniuses in procrastination? Probably the deep insecurity associated with the creative process. Our insides are aware how much that will take out of us. And we want to put off for another day that unique kind of pain. Intuitively I realize I have produced good copy by how depleted I feel.