If you're like me, a lot of your writing day is unfortunately filled with worrying blocks of time solely devoted to procrastination. Things that keep you from writing. But have no fear. This article brought to me via the abundantly talented Liesl Jobson claims that if you want to discover where your true genius lies follow your tracks of procrastination.
According to the article, Leonardo di Vinci was a terrible procrastinator. He was forever dodging people he promised statues or pieces of art because they were never ready on time. His main time eater was his notebooks. In his notebooks is were one can find his sketches of inventions including the parachute, the machine gun and his flying machines. It was also where he sketched out his thoughts on light that he later applied to his paintings including the Mona Lisa.
The writer of the article, W.A. Pannapacker, portends that procrastination is where Leonardo was free to explore the things he had passion for. If he was late with a commission, the type of work we all must do to make a living, so that he could fill his notebooks with his brilliance- so be it.
If creative procrastination, selectively applied, prevented Leonardo from finishing a few commissions - of minor importance when one is struggling with the inner workings of the cosmos - then only someone who is a complete captive of the modern cult of productive mediocrity that pervades the workplace, particularly in academe, could fault him for it.....Productive mediocrity requires discipline of an ordinary kind. It is safe and threatens no one. Nothing will be changed by mediocrity; mediocrity is completely predictable. It doesn't make the powerful and self-satisfied feel insecure. It doesn't require freedom, because it doesn't do anything unexpected.
Tends to shine a whole new light on the way we work doesn't it?
In conclusion the writer says something that makes me want to try harder at my own avenues of procrastination.
If there is one conclusion to be drawn from the life of Leonardo, it is that procrastination reveals the things at which we are most gifted — the things we truly want to do. Procrastination is a calling away from something that we do against our desires toward something that we do for pleasure, in that joyful state of self-forgetful inspiration that we call genius.