Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Avoid Writing Procrastination With These 8 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love writing. And I love talking about writing.

Sitting around with other writers, discussing all things literary is one of my favorite things. It’s one of the reasons I love attending writing conferences.

But there are people we know who like talking about writing so much that’s all they do. They join writers groups, critique groups, even take classes.
The one thing they don’t do is write.

Unfortunately, this problem of avoidance can happen to any of us.

Writing is hard work. Avoiding it is often easier than just sitting in the chair and banging out words. There comes a time though, when we have to just quit procrastinating, sit in the chair and write.

Today I’m going to share some things I do when I’m tempted to do anything but write. 
  • Set a goal. I play games with my goals. Sometimes I’ll set a time goal—I’m going to write for an hour—no matter what. Sometimes I’ll set a word count goal—I’m not going to get up until I’ve written 1000 words.
  • Set a reward. I try to avoid food related goals, but truthfully, nothing helps the words flow like the promise of chocolate. However, the promise of a new pair of shoes after turning in a big project also works for me!
  • Break it into manageable pieces. Don’t tackle a hard goal all at once. Break it into small manageable bits. This will help you see the progress.
  • Turn on the music. For me, music (instrumental—no words) helps me get in the groove.
  • Change the scenery. When I hit a wall, it helps to go around it—literally. If I’m in my office, I may move to the dining room or even the back porch.
  • Turn off the Internet. Or at least log off your social media. It’s tempting to ask for support or commiseration on Facebook, but it can lead to conversation. And the only words you need are the ones that show up on the page.
  • Schedule a Write-in. Get a friend or two and hold each other accountable. If you can’t meet in person, get together online, through Skype or a Google Hangout.
  • Throw up on the page. NO, not literally. But I’ve found that sometimes I have to write junk before I can get to the good stuff. So go ahead and write crap, get it out of the way and keep going. Chances are there is something useable in it.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What tricks have you found to keep yourself in the chair banging out words?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,

Edie

TWEETABLES

13 comments:

  1. Think about those people who have given you positive feedback on your work. Think of how they are waiting for your next book. Think of their disappointment as they must wait until you get around to it.

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    1. Jay, that's an excellent addition to the list! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  2. Edie, you are a gift from God. He made you an encourager to all level of writers. Today's message is another motivational present from you. Thanks. This is a difference maker that you may never see the results of by those of us who have read the post. Nevertheless, you made God smile today with being His mouth piece. Share on!

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    1. Carolyn, thank you so much! Blessings, E

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  3. Edie, thanks for your reminder that we're not alone when we just can't get it together in our writing. Prayer and calming music are my best motivators, as well as a walk in the garden. Soon after the words come.

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    1. Emme, great additions! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  4. I am guilty of spending too much time researching. However, once I sit down to write, it comes easier. But It is hard to know how much research is too much.
    On the other hand, doing research for a story gives me ideas for several others.
    Thanks for the reminder not to procrastinate, Edie. My reward is usually video games.

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    1. Ingmar, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

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  5. Hooboy, easy to choose. #6 Turn off the Internet! Especially Facebook and eBay! Thanks Eddie! Share my world

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    1. Shirley, don't you wish we could permanently turn it off? Not always, but sometimes! LOL Blessings, E

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  6. I agree with Shirley. I have to turn off the Facebook. I need to make a daily to-do list and stick to it.

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    1. Great thoughts! Thanks so much for taking time to share, Blessings, E

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  7. Thank you for permission to "throw up on the page". I've done a lot of that, but parts are worth keeping. Thanks for your words of wisdom, always.

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