Blogging for FUN not funds

When I returned to writing after decades away from it, I started searching for tips since I didn’t know where to start. Several articles about writing suggested blogging as a way to improve your writing skills, not to mention your discipline. I had no doubts about the kind of blog I wanted. To say that I was disappointed in what I found online about blogging is a huge understatement. I did this exercise a year ago and then again this past week. Nothing’s changed. Commercial and narrow “niche” blogging own the universe.

Have you noticed how few articles there are that talk about blogging for the pure enjoyment of it, or even simply as a tool to improve your writing? Maybe there’s one in a hundred. When I researched this a year ago, it seemed more like there were maybe one in a thousand. It was like trying to find a frog at the base of Niagara Falls! When I googled “amateur blogging”, you’d think I’d entered a profane phrase in the search engine. All the hits were about the mistakes to avoid so as to NOT look like an amateur blogger.

When I googled “blogging for fun”, the result was marginally better. I got plenty of hits for “blogging for fun AND profit”. For crying out loud, why does it always have to be about the money! There are ads on my blog posts because puts them there. This happens on a free site. If I decide to pay for a site, it will be to remove all ads to make my blog a more pleasurable and less distracting experience for my readers, not to put other annoying ads to make money. Why does success have to equal income?

Can’t “success” be to enjoy the process, to get the occasional comment and to gain a few followers? It is for me and maybe it is for other bloggers too, just not the ones I came across in my google searches. Once the money motive enters the front door, sooner or later, enjoyment slinks out the back door. I crochet squares to make blankets for charity. If I was selling them, it would become a chore very quickly and perfectionism would tyrannize me.

I’m breaking so many rules of blogging, I don’t have a prayer of getting monetary gain from it and I’m OK with that. I don’t want to be bothered with hosting, domain names, SEO, and other technical headaches. I don’t want to bother with images for each post or even with having an image of myself. I just want to write what strikes my interest, and not to be hemmed in by a niche.Reflection


  • Why did you start blogging?
  • Have you, as a blogger, departed from conventional blogging wisdom? If so, which “rules” have you broken?
  • What are your criteria for being a “successful” blogger?

The gift of slow success

If you get really lucky and succeed almost immediately at a new skill, project or venture, how much can you have learned in that process? Here are a few things this experience did not teach you:

  • How to accept the need to ask for help.
  • How to start over if you didn’t get the result you wanted.
  • How to cope with and recover from initial, and possibly multiple, failures.
  • How to forgive yourself for mistakes, maintain your confidence and fix what did not work.
  • How to tune out negative messages from yourself or from others.
  • How to recognize and benefit from constructive feedback from experts or from mentors.
  • How to sift through contradictory advice from various sources.
  • How to know when you’ve done enough research then to follow your intuition to move forward.
  • How to avoid comparing your progress with others in your field who started at the same time as you did.
  • How to discipline yourself to take the next step when all you feel like doing is surfing social media, binge-watching Netflix or playing video games.

Significant setbacks, minor disasters and/or progress that is much slower than you want or expect are all opportunities to grow and learn. They are not occasions for complaining, comparison or self-condemnation, behaviours that seem to be our default setting. In addition to signalling the need for reassessment, these challenges can push you to increase your knowledge and skills through courses, conferences and coaching.

When you hit a small or large speed-bump, it is time to reflect and to develop clarity about the specific result you are seeking. Consider carefully why it matters and how important it is for your short-term goals and long-range plans. If you don’t have a clear vision of your destination and a sense of the milestones along the way, how will you recognize your progress or catch yourself chasing distractions because you’re afraid to miss out on something important?

Slow progress provides the necessary time to develop skills through frequently and regularly repeating the same set of tasks while always considering ways to improve your processes. If you’re a marketer, it’s sales calls; if you’re an author, it’s writing, if you’re a blogger, it’s writing, image creation, and website management. It requires an acceptance of boredom, a tolerance for frustration and a willingness to tackle tedious tasks daily for years.

An extended delay gives the seed of passion time to grow. When it takes a lot longer than we like to get the result that we want, our desire intensifies. The longer we must wait and the more it costs in time, energy and sacrifices of other things which we value, the more we’ll appreciate the success when it arrives.


  • Are you currently enjoying success at something you’ve wanted and worked toward for a long time? What things or activities did you give up to make it happen?
  • Are you working toward a dream now? Have you clearly defined in your mind what it will be like and why you want it? Have you written it all down?
  • Have you given up on a dream after working at it for a while? Why did you decide that it either wasn’t worth the effort, or that you weren’t capable of making it happen? Were you afraid of failure, of success, or maybe, of both?

Wretched Writing Advice

When I buy something new, I always read the instruction manual. I do it when the device is completely new. I do it when I’m replacing something I’ve used for decades. I read the manual that came with the last microwave I bought even though I got my first one in the early 1980s. Who knows what feature I might miss otherwise? So when I decided to return to writing after about 15 years away from it, I started looking for advice about how to do it effectively. Since I’d already realized that fiction is off the plate, this process would be less overwhelming.

Dogmatic advice

I came across the concept of “morning pages” when I was looking for articles about increasing my creativity or removing any creative blocks. Doing them exactly the way that Julia Cameron dictates in The Artist’s Way simply did not appeal to me so I wanted to know if other people tweaked this tool to work for them. If I didn’t do this in exactly her way, would it be completely ineffective and a total misuse of my limited free time? Can I adapt it and have it still be somewhat helpful? Is the whole idea a bad fit for me and, therefore, not worth doing at all?

Contradictory advice

I’ve found a lot of writing advice with some items contradicting other ones.  At least one article suggested not looking for writing advice and spending that time writing. 

Hazardous (or stupid) advice

The three “hazardous” suggestions were: writing with a full bladder, ignoring hunger and quitting your day job to be a “real” writer. If my bladder is full, my mind ceases to function, period.  If I’m “in the flow”, I don’t notice hunger, but I wouldn’t ignore what my body needs.  That’s not how I’d go about weight loss.  Being retired, I no longer have a “day job”. During some periods of my career in the Canadian federal government, I was writing regularly. I never considered “early retirement” so as to be a “real writer”.  I already was a “real writer”. 

Bad advice for all writers: Spelling and grammar checking software will solve all my writing problems.

Spelling and grammar are not the whole of writing.  There is syntax and sentence structure, not to mention the quality of the content itself.  A spell-checker will not detect “too” when you meant to use “to” or “through” when you meant to use “though”.  Nothing replaces the human editor who carefully examines the text and also reads it aloud so as to catch any awkward phrasing.

Useful for other writers but not for me: “Challenge yourself to write something in a much shorter time than normal. “

I don’t find that applying speed helps any task to be done well, much less something creative.  I understand the usefulness of shutting off the inner editor when writing a first draft so that you’re not fixing it up as you write it.  I get around that by writing with pen and paper with no extra space between my lines.  I’m never tempted to edit when I write this way because I know I’ll type it up in a day or two and edit as I’m doing that.  I see the value in setting a timer and writing for the duration, but I do it in a slow and relaxed way.  I only write at a quicker pace when my hand can barely keep up with my ideas.  Although I can type faster than I can write, the ideas don’t flow through my keyboard as they do through my pen.

Most common advice: Write every day.  

I disagree with those who imply or say outright that you’re not a “real writer” if you don’t write every day.  This sometimes comes across as dogmatic, implying that you’ll fail completely if you don’t write daily without exception. Other times, it comes across as patronizing, implying you’re lazy if you don’t write daily.  A few who write about this have a much more balanced approach; they encourage it, while recognizing that it’s not necessary for those who aren’t professional writers.

}If it hinders you, takes you down the wrong path, fucks with (disputes) your creative process, causes more confusion than clarity, that’s bad advice. So when you’re sorting the good from the bad, go with your gut, and don’t let anyone bully you into their way of thinking, regardless of how credible, famous, or experienced they are.

 –How to Spot Bad Writing Advice: 6 Red Flags to Look For


  •  Do you look for advice when you’re trying something new or do you jump in and try your hand at it?
  •  Do you find yourself able to draw out the treasure from the trash in the advice your net scoops up?  If not, why do you find this discernment difficult to do?
  • What piece of writing advice do you most regret following and why?


Atomic Habts by James Clear

After decades of being “outcome focused”, I’d come to a point in my life where the process is more important than “getting stuff done”. I started with goals where I had no control over the outcome and switched to goals which were about concrete things I could achieve regardless of other factors. Only in the past few years have I focused on a few key long-term goals. These direct my strategy and choices about where I will focus my efforts. In Atomic Habits, James Clear distinguishes between the goal or result and the process or system that moves you in the direction of your goals.

Prevailing wisdom claims that the best way to achieve what we want in life—getting into better shape, building a successful business, relaxing more and worrying less, spending more time with friends and family—is to set specific, actionable goals. … Eventually, I began to realize that my results had very little to do with the goals I set and nearly everything to do with the systems I followed. … Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.

After putting goals in their proper and most useful context, he expresses how important it is to attach your identity to the habit you want to build. Habits that benefit us have the reward at the end; unhelpful habits have the reward at the beginning. Playing video games provide immediate pleasure and no later reward or benefit. Doing your daily exercise has no immediate pleasure but provides a reward after repeating the action regularly over an extended period of time.

Your habits embody your identity. Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become. The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do. Habits are not about having something, they are about becoming someone.

In his book, he describes the “atomic” habits we start with as being extremely small in terms of time and effort. One example he gave was of a morbidly obese man who went to the gym with the rule that he could only stay for 5 minutes for the first several weeks. The point wasn’t to exercise, it was to develop the habit of “showing up”.

Even when you know you should start small, it’s easy to start too big. When you dream about making a change, excitement inevitably takes over and you end up trying to do too much too soon. The most effective way I know to counteract this tendency is to use the Two-Minute Rule, which states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” You’ll find that nearly any habit can be scaled down into a two-minute version. … The idea is to make your habits as easy as possible to start.

If I wanted to develop the habit of writing every day, I could start with writing 3 sentences every day in my bullet journal. There are already several days a week when I want to write a lot more than that. This is for the days that I don’t want to write at all. On those days, I could write 3 sentences about anything at all.

On the other hand, if I wanted to develop the habit of practicing the piano every day, I normally would have put together a practice “routine” that would take at least 45 minutes to complete. Instead, I could choose one of the components of that routine. After the end of the second week, I would add one or two more pieces. It isn’t about how much I do, it’s about developing the habit of sitting at the piano, turning it on, putting on the earphones and putting my fingers on the keys. The “gateway habit” is doing that one piece of my routine.

What you want is a “gateway habit” that naturally leads you down a more productive path. … Your goal might be to run a marathon, but your gateway habit is to put on your running shoes. That’s how you follow the Two-Minute Rule. … People often think it’s weird to get hyped about reading one page or meditating for one minute or making one sales call. But the point is not to do one thing. The point is to master the habit of showing up. The truth is, a habit must be established before it can be improved. If you can’t learn the basic skill of showing up, then you have little hope of mastering the finer details. Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis. You have to standardize before you can optimize.

He gives more detailed strategies for developing beneficial habits and breaking those that sabotage us. Instead of relying on self-control to eliminate a habit, he suggests removing the cues. Don’t buy the junk food, remove the app from your phone or tablet. Make the habit as inconvenient as possible. When it comes to developing good habits, make it obvious, attractive and satisfying. Tying the habit to your identity is one way to make it satisfying.

This doesn’t cover all of the gems in Atomic Habits. I highly recommend it. It was worth reading slowly and taking notes for further reflection. It validated my intuitive sense that goals were not what I needed, at least not in the way I was using them. There are some interview videos on YouTube where he explains how he gained the wisdom he shares. After watching them, I was more motivated to read the book.

Change the situation … or your attitude

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

There are more things in life that we complain about than things for which we express gratitude. That is not because more bad stuff happens than good stuff; rather, we naturally focus on the negative. It’s not so much because some people are optimists and others are pessimists. At the end of the day, I think all of us recall the negative stuff more readily and with greater clarity than the positive things. Could one reason for this tendency be that, in caveman days, threats and disasters made a bigger impact than finding a new food source or a better shelter?

When life presents you with a challenging or painful situation, what’s your first reaction? If you have a more passive temperament, how uncomfortable do you need to be before you take some action to change the undesirable circumstances? If you’re a “take control” kind of person in this scenario, do you reflect and plan, or do you jump the fence without checking to see if there’s a bull in the field?

My first reaction is to ask myself “how important is it?” Since I tend to be passive and patient, the problem or situation must be distressing and vexatious before I’ll take action. I rarely complain; it is unproductive, and creates negative energy in both myself and in my listener. When the situation is grave and will worsen if I don’t take action, I’ll consider carefully what the most effective strategy is. If I need help, I’ll ask for it.

When I joined Overeaters Anonymous, I learned the Serenity Prayer. Having the serenity to accept what I couldn’t change wasn’t difficult for me. Having the courage to change what I could was more of a challenge. I still tend to rationalize not taking action, telling myself that nothing I did would have any impact on the situation. This made the third part of the Serenity Prayer a real challenge: having the wisdom to know the difference.

There are some times when there is nothing that can be done about a situation, and other times when you have a few limited options. After doing what little is possible, the situation may still have a significantly negative impact on your life. In such a case, how can you change a negative attitude?

I’m writing this near the end of April 2020. We’ve been cooped up at home with nowhere to go for two weeks with no end in sight. This is due to the self-isolation protocol directives from our local and federal governments because of the Covid-19 pandemic We can’t visit friends, we can’t go to coffee shops, and grocery shopping has become a significant ordeal. Many of us are working from home. Even more have been laid off. Some of us live alone and are more bored than we’ve been since taking history in high school. Others are at their wit’s end, keeping young children amused or are dealing with squabbles.

“Challenging” doesn’t begin to describe this experience. What can you do to change your mindset, to practice mental self-care in really tough situations? Can you simply decide to think differently? Can you simply make a decision to exert your mind to seek reasons for which to be grateful while going through such times?

I live with my husband and we are both retired. We do some things together each day; we play a game or watch movies while I knit or crochet. Aside from practicing gratitude at the start and end of each day, here are some things that are helping me:

  • I maintain a routine and have a structure to my days. I don’t follow my daily plan exactly, but I have one.
  • I engage in a spiritual practice for at least 30 minutes once or twice each day.
  • I practice self-care by eating healthy and exercising. I aim to get to bed at the same time each night.
  • I study each day by reading articles, listening to podcasts, and pursuing online courses.
  • I enjoy either watching a movie or reading some fiction each day, sometimes both.


  • How do you deal with a difficult situation once you get past your initial reaction?
  • If you could go back and change something in your behaviour during your last trial, what would it be?
  • How do you most often react to emotional discomfort? If you’re not satisfied with how you’ve handled it in the past, what would you like to do differently next time?
  • Were you able to find something to be positive about or grateful for in your last difficult situation? What was it?

Our needs and wants, an inevitable mismatch

We want things we don’t need and we need things we don’t want.


This takes me back to childhood. I wanted candy, lots of it and as often as I could get it. I wanted to be left alone to read. If I had a choice, that’s all I would ever have done. The people in books might have been mean to each other at times but never to me.

According to my mother, I needed to eat cooked spinach, to get blood tests every 6 months and to play outside. I didn’t want any of these things. I’d rather be sent to bed early than eat the spinach. I much preferred reading on my bed than being around other children. My aversion to blood tests needs no explanation. Now that I’m an adult, I no longer need the frequent blood tests. I eat my spinach raw; it’s healthier that way. Indoor activities beat outdoor ones; there are no bugs and no dogs.

I was in my late thirties before I paid much attention to self-care beyond the absolute necessities  – things like regular dental visits, which hurt both my mouth and my wallet. Now I floss a whole lot more regularly than I used to. My first serious venture into regular exercise was when I bought a recumbent bike so I could read and pedal at the same time.  I have a treadmill now, and walk while I listen to podcasts and audiobooks.  

Meeting my needs hasn’t always been an unpleasant thing.  I had become “activity-addicted” and I believed that my worth depended on doing as much as possible each day and doing each thing perfectly.  I didn’t recognize my valid needs for regular rest and leisure. Once this became obvious because of a near-breakdown, I still didn’t want to stop and do “fun” things.  I didn’t even know what I would enjoy doing besides reading novels. I didn’t want to start reading them because I was afraid I’d not be able to stop. Nothing would get done and my life would be in chaos.

Fast-forward a couple of decades. I have learned to want the things I truly need and to be detached from things that were appealing but not necessary. This is especially true when it comes to food. Certain foods are very appealing and I am strongly drawn to them. I choose to not eat the “bad” food, especially sweets. I know the cravings these foods generate and I’d rather not have to battle them. The exquisite taste that lasts for a moment isn’t worth the inevitable struggle.


  • What are some things you long for now or in the past?
  • Which of your past longings were you better off not getting?
  • Which of your current longings do you not truly need?Which of them would complicate your life?
  • What is the most important thing that you need to do that you procrastinate dealing with?

Being “religious” and “spiritual” are NOT mutually exclusive

There is so much talk of being “spiritual” and not being “religious”, as if the two were mutually exclusive. Most people whom I know that speak this way have an aversion to religious practices, fixed belief systems and codes of behaviour. I wonder how many of these people have been wounded by “religious” people, by church authorities or by someone in their childhood who “represented” God to them.

I believe that being spiritual means being connected to God in an intimate and personal way. To be a spiritual being is to experience and live out of a sense of connection with the presence of God. As a Christian, I have an inner awareness and conviction that Jesus lives in the center of my being. When I pray, I am being “present to Him”, choosing to spend some quality time with the One whom I know loves me. Being “spiritual” also involves having an awareness of and a connection with one’s own soul, not the false ego-self but the true self. For Christians, our soul was placed in us at the moment of our conception. Each of us was created by God to love Him eternally and to experience a daily loving union with Him through His gift of the Holy Spirit.

The root of the word “religion” means to bind oneself to something. It is the tangible external expression of an intangible internal reality. Being religious does involve holding a specific set of beliefs about the nature of God. It includes engaging in specific activities and rituals to express love and allegiance to God. It is often a way to seek an experience of God’s presence, either alone or as part of a group.

Religion lived apart from genuine interior spirituality is empty and often toxic. Many religions, both current and obsolete, have one or more practices with the goal of appeasing and or communicating with the supernatural powers in which they believe and from whom they seek protection and power.

As a charismatic Catholic on a mystic path, I consider myself to be both religious and spiritual. The practices by which I express my devotion to Jesus are the evidence of my commitment to Him. These daily external practices include: attending Mass, prayerful Scripture meditation, spiritual reading, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and other forms of prayer. These activities neither earn nor increase His love for me. The more diligently I engage in these practices, the better prepared my soul is to more deeply experience the love He has had for me since before I was conceived.

These practices bring me to a deeply quiet contemplative “space” and interior silence which is when God works deep transformation in me so as to conform my soul more closely to His original intention for me. It is comparable to being anesthetized before surgery. At times when this experience is less absorbing, it is like being in the car on a long trip with my husband where neither of us speaks and we deeply enjoy each other’s peaceful, loving presence.


  • What does “being spiritual” mean to you?
  • Which activities, if any, do you engage in regularly that you consider “spiritual” practices?
  • What does “being religious” mean to you?
  • If the word “religion” evokes negative emotions in you, what is their root?

I refuse to be ashamed of not watching the news

Many people who regularly read or watch the news are aware of its harmful effects. They doubt its accuracy and suspect its bias. So why do we keep watching it?

We feel obliged to “be informed”.

We are taught that being informed is safer, shows a higher intellect and is even more moral than being ignorant.

—Why I proudly don’t watch the news or read the papers (and you shouldn’t either)

We’re afraid of missing something.

I’m increasingly convinced that the real cause of headline anxiety isn’t learning about worrisome new developments. Rather, it’s not knowing which new developments will prove to have been worth worrying about.

—Oliver Burkeman

Pew Research provides a few motivations for consuming news.
How people use the news and feel about the news

Here are yet more reasons why we watch the news or follow it online:

  • We want to understand how the news may affect our personal lives.
  • We want to appear “up to speed” to friends and colleagues when they discuss the latest story.
  • We, at least some of us, feel anxious and hope watching the news may provide us some relief .
  • We have difficulty handling uncertainty.
  • We have a deeply ingrained habit of, and possibly an addiction to, consuming the news.

According to Statistics Canada, the number of people following the news has decreased sharply between 2003 and 2013, particularly among young people.

The proportion of Canadians who stated that they rarely or never followed news and current affairs doubled (7% in 2003, compared with 13% in 2013). … The proportion of young people aged 15 to 34, who stated that they rarely or never followed news and current affairs, almost doubled during the period, from 11% in 2003 to 21% in 2013.

Statistics Canada Daily: The use of media to follow news and current affairs, 2003 to 2013
Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey – The use of media to follow news and current affairs

The most useful and least harmful way to stay informed is to get your news from newspapers and magazines containing editor-selected quality stories. Online news media companies make money by keeping you clicking through their site; they are more likely to provoke emotion than to provide balanced, accurate content.

By and large, media companies that deliver news online monetize attention through display advertising. They want to keep us clicking and scrolling as much as possible. If a story drives clicks, views, or reads, they have an incentive to publish it—sometimes to sensationalize it. Companies delivering news online have no incentive to encourage moderation of the time we spend on their sites.

How to Stay Informed Without Losing Your Mind

How accurate is the news really? There’s the problem of bias, but the problem has deeper roots.

The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises.

Why the News Is Not the Truth

News media is slanted toward negative, agitating content. Its aim is to keep you engaged, not to help you to be a useful, informed citizen.

The news isn’t interested in creating an accurate sample. They select for what’s 1) unusual, 2) awful, and 3) probably going to be popular. So the idea that you can get a meaningful sense of the “state of the world” by watching the news is absurd. Their selections exploit our negativity bias. We’ve evolved to pay more attention to what’s scary and infuriating, but that doesn’t mean every instance of fear or anger is useful. Once you’ve quit watching, it becomes obvious that it is a primary aim of news reports—not an incidental side-effect—to agitate and dismay the viewer. What appears on the news is not “The conscientious person’s portfolio of concerns”. What appears is whatever sells, and what sells is fear, and contempt for other groups of people.

Five things you notice when you quit the news

A cartoon on Twitter by David Sipress captures perfectly how people are recognizing the harmful effects of trying to keep up with the overwhelming amount of media. It shows a couple walking together, with the woman saying, “My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.”

Here are some reported benefits from quitting news media and from reading quality detailed analytical articles instead:

  • You feel less stressed.
  • You realize that your awareness of events had no beneficial impact on you or the events.
  • You have time to read books that will give much deeper and more accurate information than any newscast is capable of providing.
  • You no longer deceive yourself that “caring” is as good as doing something about a problem.

Suggestions for consuming news:

  • Limit what you expose yourself to on a daily basis.
  • Avoid general news channels and focus on specialized niches that matter to you.
  • Don’t start or end your day with the news.
  • Stick to the news itself, and bypass reactions to it offered by commentators.
  • Focus on the local news.
  • Read an entire newspaper or magazine, rather than skimming the headlines on your mobile device.
  • Use a news aggregator app like Flipboard.

My family and friends follow the news and share it with me. I overhear it in coffee-shop conversations. If I find anything particularly interesting, I’ll pursue it more deeply. I don’t miss anything I really need to know about. I have the mental and emotional energy to write, to be creative in other ways, and to do things that benefit others as well as myself.

I don’t know a single truly creative mind who is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. On the other hand, I know a whole bunch of viciously uncreative minds who consume news like drugs. If you want to come up with old solutions, read news. If you are looking for new solutions, don’t. —Dobelli


What about you?

  • Do you look down on people who don’t follow the news as much as you do?
  • Are you at peace with your news consumption habits or do you feel pressure from others to follow it more closely?
  • What do you believe you’re gaining by watching news or following it online?
  • If you spend a lot of energy either following the news or thinking about it, would you consider cutting back, either by a little or a by a lot?


Is it planned delay or procrastination?

You’ve just been given a writing assignment on a specific topic about which you know virtually nothing and about which you have even less interest. You have six weeks to write a 3,000-4,000 word article. The deadline is non-negotiable and the cost of not completing a quality piece of writing on time is totally unacceptable to you. In this situation, what is the first thing you would do when it’s time to work on it? Continue reading “Is it planned delay or procrastination?”