Combat Procrastination ©

By Rita Emmett

Published in Successful Nonfiction: 
Tips & Inspiration for Getting Published
By Dan Poynter

The writing project was going so smoothly it was scary. I’d started at the top in  approaching a literary agent, and my first choice accepted me!

The book, with a "working title" of The Complete Procrastinator’s Handbook, was a user-friendly, fun approach to help people conquer procrastination. I sent off a rough  draft of the manuscript to my agent, and she sent it back with suggestions for a format, plus instructions that I polish it and return it as soon as possible.

Then the winds of change tornadoed my life. Family illnesses, deaths and children’s marriages sent my life spinning, so I decided to "put the book on the back burner" while I concentrated on these more important life events.

It was not procrastination, it was a choice, a priority … and that was reasonable.

But I never communicated with my agent about this decision … and that was inexcusable.

Three years later, my life finally settled down. It was time to return to the book.

I could NOT do it.

Although our contract had expired, I felt - morally and ethically – that I should give my agent the choice of working with me or not. More than that, I really WANTED to work  with her. But I was too embarrassed about all the time that had gone by, and I dreaded making that phone call. Thus began a year of procrastination – phony excuses, being too busy, ANYTHING to put that phone call as far from my mind as possible. The irony of putting off a book about procrastination was too painful to talk about. It added to my embarrassment.

The day came when the dread of making that phone call was making me sick. I had hit bottom and I finally decided to summon up my courage and use every trick in the book – MY book – to make that call.

The agent courteously listened to me and graciously offered to look at my new manuscript. MY PROCRASTINATION HAD ENDED!

She found a publisher for me, negotiated a wonderful advance, and that’s the end of THAT story … and the beginning of my life as an author … and as a "Recovering Procrastinator".

Quote: EMMETT’S LAW: The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.


Want to write a book? Go to Rita’s web site and click on The Writer’s Room. Take a look at Rita's The Procrastinator's Guide To Authorship: Stop Putting Off Your Success. Find a free article about writing proposals in The Writer’s Room

Don’t procrastinate in going there now.

Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook and The Clutter-Busting Handbook, is a professional speaker who presents Keynotes and Seminars nationwide. She can be reached at 847-699-9950 and email is

To subscribe to her free monthly Anticrastination Tip sheet with quick short tips & ideas to help break the procrastination & clutter habit, click here Subscribe

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