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The 12 Stages of Writing (Or a Guide to Procrastinating Like a Pro)

I’ve been a professional procrastinator for as long as I can remember and it hasn’t improved with age. In fact, with the social media at my fingertips ALLATAHM, it’s gotten worse. This is why the week I took a social media break, I was super productive.

Those of us who write for a living might seem to have it together on the wordsmithing tip but often, we don’t get it together until the last minute.  This is why I bring you the 12 Stages of Writing.


Step 1: Decide you’re gonna write

You gotta write a blog post, an op-ed, a proposal, a book. SOMETHING! You just gotta put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and make words come out. So you open your computer (if it wasn’t already. Actually, I’m sure it was. You probably haven’t shut down or restarted it in weeks. You know I’m right). TIME TO WRITE AWESOMENESS THAT’LL ROCK EVERYONE’S SOCKS!

Step 2: Spend 30 minutes on Facebook and Twitter

But first you need inspiration for what you will write so you log into Facebook and Twitter. All you need is 5 minutes and you’ll be set. That is all.

25 minutes later, you see that you spent 30 minutes instead. CRAP! Time to get down to work.

Step 3: Open up MS Word

You open up Microsoft Word and confront the blank page. It’s you and it in this together. No looking back.

Body is Ready Kurt2 gif

But wait! You remember the email you forgot to answer.

Step 4: Spend 30 minutes in Gmail

You open up Gmail and answer that email. But one of your friends GChats you. DANG! I thought I was invisible. Ok but this is the homie so this is probably important. 30 minutes later of conversation involving that random person’s drama unfolding on Facebook (OMG THE STATUS WARS WERE SO JUICY), you’re like “Ok I just came in here for a sec. I gotta write this thing.” And they’re all “Talk to you later. But DID YOU HAVE YOU SEEN THIS VIDEO YET???” and then they drop a link because you BOTH can’t have nice things.

Step 5: Spend 1 hour on YouTube

Because that one link sent you down the den of iniquity that is YouTube and you’re cackling like you have no worries (or deadlines) in the world. Until you look at the clock and realize that time dropkicked you by 1 hour. CRAP!!! And don’t let you end up in Tumblr! YOU ARE DONE FOR!

tumblr scroll gif

This is why you can’t have nice things like productivity. So you minimize your browser.

Step 6: Go back to Microsoft Word

HEY MICROSOFT WORD! Good to see you again! You type in the title of your piece. BOOM! You’re finally getting started and you hit a mini jig for this milestone. Then you sit there wondering what’s next. You decide that you don’t wanna write in Calibri. You’re feeling like feel like Georgia today. Hmmm… size 11 font or 12? Let’s do 12. You should also change the margins so more words can fit on the page when you type. CAUSE YOU’LL BE TYPING SO MANY GREAT WORDS! Ok now to really get started.

But you don’t know where to start. WHY AREN’T THE WORDS COMING? What do I wanna say? I DON’T WANNA DO THIS ANYMORE!

Writers Block gif

You throw a mini-tantrum and you imagine throwing your computer out the window. It’s only for a moment. You know you love LuvBook (I know I’m not the only one with a pet name for my laptop) and you never wanna hurt it.

You stroke your chin and then…

Step 7: End up back in Facebook and/or Twitter

Somehow, your cursor slips (O__O) and makes its way back to the lower side of the screen and Google Chrome pops up, with your 15 tabs still open. And it lands on Facebook! NOOOOOO! You were doing so good too! But since you’re here… Wait. You didn’t wish anyone a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” today. You KNOW one of your FB friends gotta be celebrating their born day today. So you wish that person you haven’t seen nor talked to in 15 years an enthusiastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and you feel good because: nice.

Step 8: Spend 2 hours on BuzzFeed

It started with the link someone posted on your wall with the quiz about “What Potter House will you be in?” from BuzzFeed. And they put you in Ravenclaw and you’re mad about it. So you retake it and end up in Hufflepuff so you’re REALLY MAD because in your heart, Gryffindor is the only house for you. That leads you to other articles and before you know it, 2 hours have passed by, you realize how that website is a conspiracy to ensure that you never do work.

damb damb florida

Step 9: Clean

But then you look around and see that your desk is cluttered. And is that a sock by the couch? Well, now you gotta clean up. ‘Vacuum your floor, clean your desk, or do some other housecleaning because “I write better when my space is clean.”‘@BritniDWrites. Yes. She gets it. She’s one of us.

Step 10: Eat and Nap

Houseworks makes you hungry and you really need to be on a full stomach to be productive. So you heat up that bowl of rice. As you eat, you can start thinking of the words you’ll be writing. SEE? Two-in-one. And then you get groggy because good food makes you tired and Itis is real (don’t let nobody tell you different). Besides, rest is what you need to really recharge you so you can write your ass off.

Step 11: Repeat at least 5 steps

You wake up from your nap, which was 2 hours longer than you planned. DAMBIT! But your body musta been really tired and it did what it needed to do. And then you repeat steps 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 until you realize that your deadline is in 4 hours. But by now, it’s 3am and no one else is up to be your distraction excuse.

Step 12: Write.

So you buckle down, sweet talk Microsoft Word, close out your browser (finally. You should have done that after Step 1 but hindsight is 20/20 and you clearly weren’t about that life) and you make sweet sweet verbal love to your keyboard until you finish, re-read and edit with 5 minutes to spare. You hit “send” and fall into your bed in relief.

bed sleep falls in gif

You did good! You work best under pressure anyway (O___o). You swear that you’ll do better next time. But you know damb well you’re lying like magic carpet. The cycle always begins.

For those writing books or anything that requires chapters, this process can go on for weeks. It’s just a mess. Procrastinators everywhere UNITE! Tomorrow.

So do you get stuck in this web of unproductivity or are you one of those people who just gets it done without distractions? If you are, teach me your ways and we can’t be friends (-___-).

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  1. January 21, 2014 at 7:25 am

    HA!! This is me every day all day!! 🙂

    • January 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Hilarious because I could have sworn Luvie was peeking in my window.

  2. KemaB
    January 21, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Yep to everything it actually took me five years to finish writing book I had already wrote the ending and beginning to and already knew what I wanted to happen yes you read right five years. I took procrastinating to another level I hope to publish it soon -__-

  3. milaxx
    January 21, 2014 at 7:40 am

    All the time. When I retired I was gonna start blogging. That was 4 years ago.

  4. Lenore
    January 21, 2014 at 7:54 am

    All of this YES. I’ve done it twice in the last two weeks regarding school work (I’m an English major, of course) only to find out the assignments were due a whole TWO DAYS later! All that rushing for nothing! I had plenty of time!
    All right this was my “ten minute break” back to Twitt- uh ….I mean my …uh homework.

  5. Niki
    January 21, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Ummmm do you have a hidden webcam in my office Luvvie?! I swear this is almost exactly what goes down for me when I’m tryna write. The struggle is real!! Matter of fact, I should be writing now, but I saw your post and well…you know the rest…

  6. January 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

    You nailed it!

    And yes I also have a pet name for the #labtop. I call him MacDaddy.

  7. zanele
    January 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I started a book last year, and i have written Chapter one… but right now I’m currently going through stages 4 to 11. It’s gona be a great book when I’m finished, I promise

  8. January 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Yes girl! Something that I find that helps is first thing in the morning when you sit at your laptop is open Word before anything else. (And sometimes it’s added incentive to turn your WiFi off 😉 just in case you’re tempted) And then just write 500 words of something. It can be stream of consciousness, an idea that you’re trying to theorize, a letter to someone or yourself, a short story about someone you saw when people watching…it doesn’t have to make sense but just write 500 words off the back to turn that metaphorical faucet on and then whatever you actually need to write will come out of that same faucet because at least it’s on and running! Happy Writing!

  9. jcanwisegrrl
    January 21, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Luvvie, you don’t know my life doe! *huffs*

    Step 8 for me is spending two hours on cackling away. Because I don’t really wanna write what I’m sposed to be writing anyway. Why isn’t professional procrastinator an official job that people could get paid for???

  10. jcanwisegrrl
    January 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

    And lately, #4 for me is ‘Stalk Lupita Nyong’o online and see if #Lupeto/#Jupita is a thing.’ I’m obsessed with her. Lol! I’m a mess.

    • geMomma
      January 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Yo – are you referring to Jared Leto???

      • jcanwisegrrl
        January 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

        Yup, him. Lol! Too much time on my hands, huh?

    • geMomma
      January 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      And don’t forget about hate-stalking Jezebel. That takes up a good chunk of my day.

  11. Shar
    January 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Story.Of.My.Life lol !!! I should be writing right now. Yeah.

  12. January 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the accuracy of this post.

  13. Sunny
    January 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Yeah Tumblr will take over a large part of your day. Now replace twitter with PC gaming – cause that is what MY life is about.
    I’ve gotten a lot better at breaking my day up into productive chunks.
    6am wakeup – facebook/pinterest/workout
    7am breakfast with the little guy
    8-9am home schooling with little guy
    9-11am cleaning aka playing with stuff I forgot I had/working out some more if I didn’t get to it earlier.
    11am-6pm (10pm on wednesdays) – getting ready and going to work, actual working, getting home from work (the crazy is I don’t check my personal email until I’m at work, read some buzzfeed, tweet, pinterest,social forums and actually write for my blog)
    6pm-7pm dinner and spending family time
    7pm-7:30pm little guys in bed
    8pm-2am PC games/pinterest/facebook

    Ok I’m blessed in the fact that I get large amounts of down time at work. My boss has said as long as my work is done I can go online and do what I please as long as it’s not porn. I was a lot worst once upon a time. My sister has helped me a lot in organizing my day.
    But as the pirates say its not so much a rule as guide lines 🙂

  14. January 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Teeheehee. So me. I thought I was a horrible person, I feel so much better. Thanks for your support. Lol.

  15. Hattie
    January 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    You are on point, as usual. *sigh*

  16. Lenore
    January 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Oh you forgot the step where you go on a blog and write a 1500 word response to the article you just read but go back to the 800 word paper you’ve been reading about for two weeks and have nothing to say. All those words wasted on the internet earning no college credit.

    • jcanwisegrrl
      January 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm


    • MsOand
      January 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

      So true! It seems every other subject is easy to comment or write about but the one you are focused on finishing…lol

  17. January 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    As someone who is a chronic procrastinator and someone who is trying to blog I feel the hell out of this lol

  18. Foxie Millero
    January 22, 2014 at 5:42 am

    This is perfectly ME! I laughed so hard at the course of my day unfolding on paper. Thank you.

  19. Maven
    January 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Every word of this! I am the worst. So glad to know im in good company.

  20. Nika
    January 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    THIS…….has been my entire academic life. HS, AA, BA, MSM. Every time I finished school I claimed I would do better. After I wrote a 24 page research paper in 30 hours without sleep I said “that’s it” yeah no. Now if I manage to get sources a week before the paper is due I feel accomplished. Next time I’ll do better, I promise.

  21. January 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    This is me..right now! Iol Hilarious but so true. *goes back to FB*

  22. MsOand
    January 23, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Wow! This happens to professional writers? I thought you all could whip out in article within an hour…..guess all that research (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)takes a lot of time….lol. I despise writing so much, I delayed going to college after high school because I did not want to write papers all the time. When I finally did go back to college, I found out I still had an aversion to writing. I would literally wait to the day before a paper is due and start trying to write. It’s so funny, because Luvvie’s 12 steps would be my process. My process would not start until everything went off TV at 2 or 3 am, then my feet are swollen for sitting till
    5am trying to finish a
    8 am deadline…lol. Once I got to writing,I wished I had spent more time researching because the subject was interesting…lol. I did graduate with a degree in Business. At least Luvvie what you are writing is interesting and fun! Keep up the process, because you are a damb good Procrastinator! (but don’t be slacking on our Scandal Recaps!)

  23. January 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    this is the truth and it had me rolling!!! lmao!!!

  24. January 26, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    This is the problem I’m having at this very moment. I sit here attempting to make the final edits on my manuscript that should have been submitted to the publisher in DECEMBER. Yet, instead of editing, I’m blog hopping. Lemme get back to my book. I’m so shame.

  25. February 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    This. ALL of this.

  26. TaRee
    March 4, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Yeah, so…you definitely have to add the click the FB link to Awesomelyluvvie’s latest blog, click the blog within the blog and travel back through a 3-blog archive before you realize that you don’t have enough back story on said blog and finally end up googling celebrities, tips, tv show characters or other random items mentioned. Whew…oh yeah, then work! Lol!

  27. […] I’ll get started on it tonight. Pray that I stop procrastinating on everything. […]

  28. March 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    So trueee and so me, everday!! LOL, including right now!

  29. March 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Well damn I swear you just described me to the T! lol

  30. March 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Do you have a camera in my house?

  31. gabi
    March 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm
  32. […] Writing is hard. […]

  33. March 10, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Yes, exactly! 🙂

    Do you want to know what saves me? The Pomodoro Technique.
    I don’t do it all the way but in short I work in 25 minute sessions. I tell myself “ok, in 25 minutes I’m allowed to read twitter, get coffee, do the dishes, whatever my perverted procrastination mind will come up with” I put on my headphones with music, set the timer and work.

    There is a beautiful book about it:

    That and using mind maps to brainstorm ideas. I find those less intimidating than the Blank Page. I’m just gathering ideas first right?

  34. March 21, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Funny stuff you’ve done there. I guess at some point in time we, frustrated writers have all gone through something like this…. we just don’t call it procrastination. We like calling it “non-inspirational moments.”

  35. Denise
    March 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    This is the shonuff truf! Everything about this is real. I should be writing RIGHT now.

  36. Matador1015
    July 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    That’s just like me! Except for the writing part. Perhaps I, too, can start a blog just to test your theory.

  37. mytruthnturs
    July 6, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    So um Luvvie…..when you starting the “procrastinators anonymous” group!!??

  38. July 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    So just gone and tell me that it was you peeking thru my window taking notes cause this is so my life lol

    I see now why we’re friends hahaha

  39. July 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    If this ain’t true! I was actually suppose to be writing but instead I went on Facebook and thought to myself – well lookie here another post from Luvvie, let me click on it right quick” LOL – great post!

  40. […] Those of us who write for a living might seem to have it together on the wordsmithing tip but often, we don’t get it together until the last minute.  This is why I bring you the 12 Stages of Writing. […]