While I had always imagined procrastination to an ailment wherein you are not doing your work due to fear and laziness, I have come to realize that I am struck by a different strain of this same disease. I do work – a lot of work – just not the work I am supposed to do.
I had begun to write, as a profession, some ten years back. After few initial months, my name started appearing in print. My short stories and poetry appeared in many anthologies. The confidence made me complete the first draft of a book. At that time, I got ambushed into freelance writing. I had innumerable clients and made good money from the comfort of my home. Then, the guilt started gnawing – this was not what I wanted to do! I gave it all up when I was at the peak and got back to my original kind of writing. I finished the first draft of another book. Then again, I got waylaid. I did my M. Sc. in Counselling and also got international certification as a Life Coach. I worked hard and enjoyed every minute of it. Then I woke up from the euphoria – this is not what I set out to do. I went back to writing and did the first draft of yet another book. I steeled myself to stick on with it and now, I am working on the editing and rewriting of it.
The temptation to stagger into the by lanes is still too strong. However, now, after ten years, I have understood a by lane is just that – a path that takes me off the main road and delays me from reaching my goal. I am wary of them. Temptation and opportunity stand all around me, beckoning me to other tracks but I take a deep breath and think for a few minutes before deciding whether or not to go there. I still make mistakes but I don’t run to them. I walk slowly towards them. So, now, when I know it’s not the right path, I am no longer deep down the road. I can quickly jog back to where I was before.