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You may have noticed that I was absent for awhile. This was due to many things, but what it boils down to is that procrastination overtook my drive to produce the show, which I get into quite a bit in this episode. We are all plagued by procrastination at some point in our lives, some worse than others, but what’s important is how well we deal with it when it comes up.

Clearly, I was able to deal with the procrastination of this episode, but it took longer than I’d have liked.

But what really is procrastination, how does it affect us, and what can we do to help avoid it in the first place?

Listen to find out!

Industry News:

Reference links:

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As always, below is a direct copy of the show notes. They were written before the episode was recorded and are unedited but are here for reference and SEO.

Topic: Procrastination and Self Doubt

  • Alright, it’s time to record an episode of the Authorpreneur Mindset Podcast!
  • Well, I mean, I know it’s time, but there are so many other things I could be doing.
  • I mean, does it really matter if I record this episode? It’s not like very many people are listening.
  • The episode isn’t due out until Friday, I can record it Friday morning, why am I worrying so much about it right now?
  • You know what, I’ll just forget it all together.
  • Does that sound familiar? You could replace the word podcast with almost anything, even the things we love the most, and it would still be true for many of us.
  • That’s why I’ve decided to tackle a subject that is near and dear to many creative types hearts, procrastination and consistency.
  • This will be somewhat of a recurring mini series on the podcast and in this first episode I’m actually going to focus on how procrastination and self-doubt are 
  • Before we get into the topic, I just wanted to talk a bit about what I’ve been up to this past few weeks.
  • The first thing is I finally started reading The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson and I am loving it. I actually picked up the book a few years ago when it was on sale, but at the time I just wasn’t in the mood to read Sanderson’s writing.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s an amazing writer, but his stories tend to be a bit drawn out for me.
  • My brother, on the other hand, absolutely loves him and has been trying to get me to read this series for a while, so he’s happy he’ll finally be able to talk to me about it.
  • Also, I’ve been doing an intense boot camp if you will to learn Python with Django programming language for an upcoming steam powered dreams project I can’t quite talk about yet, but I think it’s going to change the outlining process as we know it.
  • If that sounds like something you might be interested in, make sure you’re on our mailing list so you’re the first to know. There’s a link to that on the podcast page at steampowereddreams.com/
  • Also, this episode marks the first of a new segment I have mentioned before, industry news. It’s basically tidbits that I find interesting or valuable for writers in all parts of their writing career.
  • Also, I’ll have the links to these stories in the show notes
  • The first story comes from thebookseller.com and says publishing salaries are climbing, but there’s still a quite large gender pay gap. http://www.thebookseller.com/news/starter-salaries-climb-132-2013-631196
    • According to the article, starting salaries have risen about 13% over the past four years, but out of the over 1000 people who reported, women are making about 16% less.
    • The article continues to say this is most likely because there are more men in higher ranking positions than women, with almost 50% of the men who responded were in a position that earns them higher than the average position, compared to only 31% of women.
    • This gender pay gap hasn’t changed much since 2008, but the amount of money has.
  • The other story I picked up this week, also from thebookseller.com, was that Kobo is entering the audiobook market! http://www.thebookseller.com/news/kobo-enters-audiobook-market-631366
    • They recently launched their own audiobook subscription service and they claim to offer “the best value on a subscription plan in the category”.
    • That’s saying a lot! But their words are backed up by the price
    • For the basic plan, which is 1 audiobook a month, it’s about $1 cheaper than Audible and $2 cheaper than Scribd.
    • This might help start a much-needed change in the audiobook industry, where Amazon has mostly dominated with Audible and ACX for years.
  • Alright, that’s it for industry news this episode and we’ll get to the main topic in just a moment, but I wanted to remind everyone that this podcast is fully funded out of pocket and takes a lot of time to produce, especially with procrastination, as you’ll hear soon. If you like what you hear, there is a Patreon to show your appreciation. For just a few bucks a month you’ll be helping not only keep the show running, but push it towards the next level. You can find that at steampowereddreams.com/patreon or just search Authorpreneur Mindset on 
  • Alright, so enough procrastinating! It’s time to get down to business. Let’s talk a bit about what procrastination is, why it exists, how it affects us when we don’t even realize it, and finish with a few tips and tricks on how to avoid letting it take over your life.
  • Sometimes we put things off we know we shouldn’t just because we don’t feel well, or we’re tired, or sometimes we just don’t “feel” like it, but these are all excuses to procrastinate.
  • We all know that procrastinating only makes us feel worse and leads to even more procrastination. This can be a vicious cycle and sometimes we do it without even realizing it.
  • Take this podcast as an example. The reason I put off the episode at first was that I was sick, a valid reason not to record. But, as soon as I got better, the procrastination really started. I told myself I didn’t feel like doing it, or that I shouldn’t record late at night, or that I had more important things to do, but the truth was that, after skipping two weeks, I felt self-doubt.
  • And this is one of the biggest reason we procrastinate because we doubt in our abilities to accomplish whatever it is we’re doing, and most of the time we don’t even realize this.
  • If you are honest with yourself, you’ll know that procrastination really stems from that self-doubt.
  • Think back to a time you procrastinated something, or actually, chances are good that you’re procrastinating right now. Be honest with yourself on why you’re procrastinating.
  • I have a quote here from motivational speaker/YouTuber Eric Thomas, also known as ET the Hip Hop Preacher.
    • Some of you in your life, the reason you’re not at your goal right now is because you’re all about your feelings. You don’t feel like waking up, so who does? Every day you say no to your dreams you might be pushing your dreams back a whole six months, a whole year. That one single day, that one day you didn’t get up could have pushed your stuff back I don’t know how long
  • That’s some powerful stuff right there.
  • Most of us are not so lucky to be able to wake up and go to a dream job, or not have to work at all. Most of us have to do what it takes to get from where we are to where we want to be, and that takes work and that takes pushing past procrastination, past the self-doubt.
  • And it’s not easy.
  • In the end, self-doubt is a fear, and fear leads to procrastination, and procrastination leads to failure, which of course leads to future self-doubt and the cycle is started all over again.
  • But we can break out of that cycle and get past the fear, self-doubt, and procrastination.
  • I have another quote, this time from the amazing Les Brown
    • Fear kills dreams. Fear kills hope. Fear puts people in the hospital. Fear can aid you, can hold you back from doing something you know within yourself you are capable of doing, but it will paralyze you.
  • It’s always been interesting to me that he says, in the midst of this, that fear can also aid you. At first, I thought it was a mistake, and that he meant to say something else, but later in the same speech, he talks about what he means by this
    • Don’t allow your emotions to control you, we are emotional, but you want to begin to discipline your emotions. If you don’t discipline and contain your emotions, they will use you.
  • I take this as we can not only break out of the cycle but use it to our advantage. One of the unique things about humans is our ability to manipulate our own thoughts and emotions. We can be terrified of something, yet still do it. We can be scared of heights, crowds, or anything else, yet still get up there on stage or climb the mountain, because we can control those emotions.  
  • Procrastination and self-doubt are no different.
  • At this point, you may be asking yourself how this relates to writing and authorpreneurship, or you might already get it.
  • As writers, we spend most of our times in our own heads. It’s not a surprise then that self doubt, fear, and anxiety are a major part of our lives.
  • Did you know that the average writer never finishes their book because they don’t think they’re good enough? That the fear of what others think leads to self-doubt, which leads to procrastination, which eventually leads to giving up.
  • Even to this day, after having published multiple stories, I still go through this with almost every story I write, but I’ve started to learn to control this fear.
  • That doesn’t mean I am always in control. Procrastination still creeps up on my all too often, but I try to end that cycle as soon as I realize it. When I find myself feeling self-doubt or fear of what others are going to say when they read what I’ve written, or listen to an episode of my podcast, I try to push past that feeling and do it anyway.
  • Does it always work? No, but the fact that this episode is out is a good indication of what I’m trying to say.
  • And I’ll say it again, it’s not easy.
  • In that same speech, les brown continued, speaking about the power of perseverance and having confidence in yourself, even if you have to convince yourself of it.
    • When you want to change, it’s not easy, if it were, in fact, easy, everybody would do it. But if you’re serious, you’ll go all out.
    • [You’ll convince yourself that] I’m in control here, I’m not going to let this get me down, I’m not going to let this destroy me, I’m coming back and I’ll be stronger and better because of it.
    • You have got to make a declaration, that this is what you stand for. You’re standing up for your dreams, you’re standing up for peace of mind, you’re standing up for health.
    • Take full responsibility for your life. Accept where you are and the responsibility that you’re going to take yourself where you want to go.
  • He ends that portion of his speech with one more interesting quote that I’d like to share.
    • You can decide that you are going to live each day as if it were my last. Live your life with passion. WIth some drive. Decide you’re going to push yourself. The last chapter to your life hasn’t been written yet. And it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, it doesn’t matter what happens to you, it only matters what you are going to do about it.
  • His whole speech is about 45 minutes long and very much worth listening to. I’ll have a link in the show notes, but what we can take away from this is that, if you let it, procrastination that leads to self-doubt that leads to fear can not only hold you back, but kill your creativity, or maybe worse
  • So how do we get over this?  Well, les brown had some tips for us, about forcing our minds to do the work, but that’s easier said than done, so let’s talk about some practical, real world ways you can help stop your procrastination.
  • First, up is keeping a schedule or list of things to get done. Some people prefer to do this on a physical piece of paper or calendar, while others do it digitally.
    • I personally use a combination of Google Calendar and Evernote to keep track of what I need to do. If it’s time-based, I put it on my calendar, or if it’s something I just need to get done it goes in Evernote.
    • Within Evernote, I have a folder named To-Do. Each week on Sunday, I make a Weekly To Do list that has everything I know I need to get done that week. Then, each night, I write a daily to do list for the next day that is usually copied/pasted right from that weekly to-do list. If something comes up mid-week, I don’t add it to the weekly list, only the daily one. I do this because, at the end of the week, I want to see that weekly list fully checked off. It might be artificial, since I may not have gotten everything done, but it boosts my confidence.
  • Next, you need to find a way to help keep you accountable. This is especially tricky if you’re a new writer without much of an audience. Chances are, you don’t have anybody asking you when your next book is due out, and so you have to make artificial accountability or find a good friend to do it for you, someone who can show you, tough love.
    • For me, my mom is great at keeping me accountable for my writing. For another podcast I do, I have a cohost who keeps me accountable.
    • But, for many things, I have to keep myself accountable, and those tend to be the things that I procrastinate the most.
    • You can do things like give yourself deadlines, or set rewards for yourself. These are both great motivators and useful with self-accountability, just make sure that you don’t let procrastination convince you that it’s okay to push back a deadline or that you deserve a treat, even when you didn’t do what you set out for.
  • In the end, if you’re doing something that very few people other than yourself have any stake in, you just have to push yourself.
  • Procrastination and self-doubt will always come back, they will be there to haunt you when you least expect it. The best way around this is to develop systems and put them in place that help you not only realize when it’s happening but push past it once you do.
  • We’ll be covering this topic more in the future, but I think that’s a good stopping point for now.
  • If you have questions about this episode or anything authorpreneur or entrepreneur related, there are two ways to reach me.  The first is through the website at steampowereddreams.com/authorpreneurmindset and then click on Ask A Question.
  • The second is to join our facebook group at facebook.com/SPDwritershelpingwriters
  • Where to find me:
    • The website is at steampowereddreams.com/authorpreneurmindset
    • you can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/jeremylcollier
    • on Twitter at SoulScribbler,
    • and finally on Instagram at authorpreneurmindset
  • Until next week, I am your host Jeremy and don’t forget to keep moving forward.

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