Procrastination: It's A Good Thing

Procrastination: It's A Good Thing, guest post by Gabriella Contestabile @gcontestabile64 @iReadBookTours

A problem that has always vexed me as a writer is my proclivity to procrastinate.  Sometimes there’s a valid excuse, a last minute day job project, a family emergency, a power outage. Usually, however, it’s just me staring at the blank screen or a journal page wondering why I became a writer to begin with, and why accounting might not have been a wiser career choice.

Procrastination: It's A Good Thing, guest post by Gabriella Contestabile @gcontestabile64 @iReadBookTours
That said procrastination helped me write a stronger ending for my novel ‘The Artisan’s Star’.  The same happened with my second book, ‘Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos’. I took so long to write ‘Artisan’s Star’ I matured along with my protagonist. I stood at the same crossroads as Elio who, in the final chapters and with fresh awareness, makes a different and far more satisfying lifestyle choice.

“Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos” took me only a year and a half to write, thanks to my publisher, Julie Salisbury.  Even there, life got in the way. My ninety-four year old mother moved in with us. It turned our world inside out. Carving out time to write became more and more difficult.

Still, her presence re-connected me with my past in a profound and visceral way.  It brought up vibrant memories of our immigrant experience, her sartorial skills, her love of her métier as a magliaia (knitwear seamstress) in Italy, our transatlantic crossing on the SS Andrea Doria.  It forced me to go deeper and it made me even more proud of my heritage.

One evening over chamomile tea with honey, our evening ritual, mom told me she regretted selling her knitting machine. So I decided to buy her one.  While researching on line I discovered Emily Cunetto, a young knitwear designer living in California who works on two knitting machines not unlike the ones my mother worked on over seventy years ago.  That led to more research on exciting new slow fashion initiatives, notably Fibershed, Grow Your Jeans, and the atelier of Jussara Lee in the West Village. 

And now an entire new world of possibilities opened up taking the book’s narrative full circle, from the teachings of my grandmother in our hillside village in Abruzzo to sustainability and slow fashion initiatives taking root around the world, a movement driven by young entrepreneurs who believe in doing what’s right for humanity and our environment, and are making great inroads along the way. 

So I’ve come to the conclusion that procrastination can be a good thing.  And I’m not alone.  In Walter Isaacson’s brilliant biography ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ he advises us to learn from Leonardo, to maintain a childlike sense of wonder and to procrastinate.  In the words of history’s most creative thinker, “Men of lofty genius sometimes accomplish the most when they work least.  For their minds are occupied with their ideas and the perfection of their conceptions to which they afterwards give form.’

My screenwriting teacher once said that to a writer everything is material.  Once your book is inside your head, you are always thinking, imagining, and making connections, which will one day tell a reader this is a story of multiple layers and facets, deeply felt and understood, an experience worth taking in, not unlike DaVinci’s ‘Madonna of the Rocks.’

Procrastination: It's A Good Thing, guest post by Gabriella Contestabile @gcontestabile64 @iReadBookTours
Gabriella Contestabile is the author of the novel, The Artisan’s Star, and owner of Su Misura (Made to Measure) Journeys; a boutique travel concept for the female traveler who relishes off-the-beaten-track adventures that celebrate the Italian way of life.

The book/travel initiative has its roots in her pre-writer life as a foreign language teacher, later as Executive Director and Vice President of International Training in a number of global companies (including Estee Lauder, Shiseido, and Prada Beauty) where she would create immersive and unconventional learning experiences in unique settings around the world.

One of her favorite pastimes, wherever she is in the world, is to scout out the best, and most ‘Italian’ espresso in the hood. It requires multiple tastings, but that’s the idea. Gabriella was born in Italy, and raised in Ottawa and New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, her mother, and a furry Shih Tzu named Oreo.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ LinkedIn


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  1. Thank you Jo for the opportunity to provide this guest post on a subject that has always plagued me as a writer. It also gave me to opportunity to read your blog and I can see why it has won awards. What an exceptional and intelligent resource for writers for writers and authors. I wish I'd discovered you years ago!


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