Just allowing this word into my vocabulary feels like a cardinal sin. (Forgive me, but I’m going to play solitaire for a while. You’ll be glad I did because right now I have no idea what comes next.)

I’m back. After losing four games and winning two, I am better able to approach this subject. Solitaire is my usual go-to ploy when I’m stuck. Occupying my left brain for a while does wonders for the right, and this time it has produced a thought on the matter at hand that I think will be helpful: Procrastination is a stepping away from the work long enough to allow the words, the idea, or the visual or musical composition to come to fruition on some level without the usual interruption of our conscious minds.

Forgive me again while I take a long walk. Short walks don’t quite do it, but long walks stimulate the brain and bring up all kinds of things that have been churning around in all that oxygen. (In this case being an airhead is a very good thing.) I have had entire poems, a title for a novel, and a plot twist appear as if from nowhere.

Although driving around in the car has also been shown to be helpful, I don’t intend to leave you again in order to make my point that procrastination is not nearly as sinister as it sounds. I myself have been procrastinating long enough and want to finish this. So here are some things to consider when you’re thinking about procrastinating or when you just can’t avoid it. It’s okay. It’s even useful. It helps you to achieve a different perspective on your work. It moves the work forward even though you feel as if you are accomplishing nothing at all. Go ahead. Take a very long walk and see what I mean.