Using Procrastination As Serendipity In Your Writing


serendipity (noun): the fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance.

Hi and welcome to my first post on MPOWERED Writing, a blog I’ve done with the idea of sharing all sort of resources and tools I personally use or have used during the process of writing, editing, and translating my first independent and self-published novel. This time, I want to share with you a useful tip and talk you a little about the marvel of serendipity.

It’s thrilling to be alive in a time when information travels so fast we can know all sort of exciting things happening around the world in no time. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming to realise all this information is out there one click away waiting for us to spend entire days discovering it. This is what in most occasions prime us to procrastinate on sites like Reddit, Tumblr, or Medium. We want to know what is the trend around the world, what are the last publications about our hobbies or passions, or just know what is the new meme on Reddit —by this day, Minecraft’s crafting memes are getting out of hand, by the way, I did my research—. Of course, it’s all fun and laughs until we fall into the infamous black hole of procrastination, a place sometimes seems a one-way trip. But don’t worry, a little procrastination is not harmful if you do it consciously and smartly at the right time, so that make it work in your favour.

I’ve been working truly hard in the edition and translation of The Hand of Madness these days, but from time to time, I fall into the tempting trap of procrastination. Sometimes this is a terrible thing and others, I have moments of serendipity. Days ago, I was Tumblr-scrolling and all of a sudden, I found something captivated my attention and imagination. I’m talking about “ghost apples”, an odd phenomenon happened recently in Michigan, United States.

Apple-shaped ice shell appeared in an orchard in Michigan, United States

Apple-shaped ice shell appeared in an orchard in Michigan, United States

What is this about? Well, it’s a bizarre phenomenon of nature that happened during a freeze hit early this year. This consists in the formation of an ice layer around apples on their trees which remained intact after the fruit rotten away inside the ice, leaving a perfect transparent shell with the form of the fruit. Fascinating, isn’t it?

But what does it has to do with my writing? Well, by that day I was writing a paragraph or two about memories and the ephemerality of these. The magical process of confluence happened in my mind when I related the captivating image of transparent crystal apples with our memories. My thoughts were how we tend to “freeze” certain good moments to preserve them in our minds so that we can recall them later. The fact that these “frozen shapes” are the ghosts of “dead” moments and people is what I found truly sad and beautiful. Memories can seem clear at the beginning, but as time goes, these become more subjective thus growing fictional and inaccurate. But what are memories? For me, they’re just a shell, a layer of emotions, feelings, and sensations we record in our minds which we represent with fuzzy static images that “melt” as time goes by.

I took my notepad and I wrote about it immediately. It just seemed right and to fit perfectly with which I was writing about at that moment. So, magic and inspiration sometimes just happen and it’s there, in the air, waiting to be caught and used by you. Are you experiencing a block? Just leave the writing for a moment and do something else, just explore the internet or go for a walk, there’s always something amusing to see if you’re alert enough.

Here are some tips to make procrastination work in your favour:

  • Follow accounts, publishers, or users that share interesting and inspiring things, it doesn’t matter if this is not precisely related to writing or the stuff you usually do. These things just need to be amusing and evocative for you. By doing this, you’ll create the perfect excuse to fall in productive-procrastination and discover something you can actually use later.

  • Keep your notepad within your reach, so that take note of some ideas can randomly appear. Confluence is powerful, and you don’t know when this is going to visit you.

  • Be perceptive and open-minded about everything and try to be present and “live the moment”. The best ideas sprout when we’re not looking for them, and if we’re observant, we’ll be able to see the “devil” in the details.

I hope this personal experience and tips could help you to conceive fantastic and glorious ideas for your writing. I invite you to subscribe to my exclusive email circle to receive free resources and tools that will help you to finish and professionally publish your novel.

Remember, The Hand of Madness webnovel is re-launching on April 29, and I’d be honoured if you read it and give me your impressions about it.