Saturday, November 11, 2017

Writing - Dealing with Procrastination

Here is another piece of writing advice, which arrived in my email. It comes from Creative Writing Now

If you find yourself always putting off writing, it can be helpful to look at why you're doing it.  Here are some of the most common reasons.

REASON # 1 - Waiting for the perfect moment.
Maybe you're having trouble finding the right time to start a writing project.  
There's so much going on in your life.  There might be a holiday coming up, or you might have to travel.  You probably have responsibilities at work and home.
Or maybe you're tired, under the weather, or just not in the mood.
The fact is that the perfect moment will probably never come.  If you keep waiting for the ideal circumstances, you might never get around to writing.

The solution is to write in spite of imperfect conditions.  

Snatch time whenever you can.  You might decide to wake up a little earlier and write first thing in the morning, or write in spurts, on the bus, on your lunch break, etc.  
If you're not in the right mindset for writing, do it anyway.  Sometimes it takes a little time for inspiration to show up.  

And remember you don't have to be inspired to write.  Inspiration is wonderful when it comes, but you can write without it.  Professional writers don't feel inspired every day, and they still get the job done.

REASON # 2 - Waiting for the perfect idea.
Maybe you don't know what to write about.  Or maybe you have an idea, but you're worried it isn't good enough.

The truth is that the idea that you start out with isn't so important.  What makes for a great story or poem is generally not the idea, but what the author does with it.

Think of all of the authors who've written novels based on the following idea: "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boys gets girl back."  And yet the idea never gets old.
So if you're short on ideas, you can always use a writing prompt.  You'll find lots of them here:

And if you're not sure how to develop an idea into a story, you can find help here:

REASON #3 - Fear of failure.

Many people avoid writing because they're afraid of not being good enough.
But the only way to become a good writer is by writing!  So if you avoid writing, you'll never get there.
Even if you're already a good writer, often the only way to write something good is to start with a bad first draft.

So give yourself permission to write badly, even if that goes against all of your instincts.  Once you stop being afraid of it, writing suddenly becomes a lot more fun.  And it tends to flow better too!

Remember: no matter the result, the important thing is that you're writing.


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