I haven’t had a chance to ramble on at you in a while, so I thought I’d spent some time doing that today. It’s one less thing to check off my to-do list. Oh, forget I said that. My to-do list isn’t that lame that I’d have “ramble at readers” on it. Or maybe I just listed it so I wouldn’t have to do those other things on my list like clean the house and do laundry. And I still get to check something off and feel productive!
Ok, so I admit, I’m procrastinating.
Speaking of procrastinating, that’s what this post is about. (Hmm…what a convenient transition…it’s like maybe I did that on purpose. I knew there was a good reason for writing “ramble at readers” on my to-do list!).
How do you keep from procrastination on that wonderful story idea that you have stuck in your head?
No really…anyone have an answer for this? I’m open to suggestions here.
Alright, so I guess it wouldn’t be fair to make you write the post for me, but by asking that question it gave me a little more time to stall and keep from tackling the extremely hard task of writing this post.
Oh wait. I’m I procrastination again?
So you get the idea. It’s really easy to procrastinate, even if the thing we are avoiding is something we love to do.
Why is that? I mean if we love doing it why is it so hard to, you know, do it?
It takes time.
We may love to write, but we find ourselves so busy that when we finally do have some spare time, we decide we’re too tired to write or that since we’ve worked so hard we shouldn’t have to work more (because writing is work even if it’s something you love to do).
(This is a slideshow of me writing this post. I resemble Snoopy just a tad, don’t I? Don’t be alarmed. I don’t look like a cartoon dog in real life. It was just the lighting.)
We’re afraid it won’t be good enough.
We’ve read so many gripping plots and unforgettable characters that the plots and characters in our stories seem hopelessly unsavable in comparison. Our plot is more like a tangled web created by a blind spider crippled with arthritis and our characters seem more lifeless than a zombie, a graveyard, and all the people Bryan Mills tracked down combined.
We know our writing is full of mistakes and that deflates our motivation. Why put so much work into that story when there are already trillions of books out there?
We want to take a nap.
Let’s face it. Sometimes we’re just LAZY. It isn’t that we’re too busy with work, school, and leveling up that character on your favorite MMORPG. And it isn’t because we’re so in awe of other writers that our fingers are paralyzed and we can no longer type. We simply choose to put playing games on our phone, browsing YouTube, or taking a nap ahead of writing.
Now that we have some reasons why we procrastinate, how about some ways to overcome them? You didn’t think I would just leave you with a bunch of excuses why you can’t write did you?
We can make time.
Sure, we think that there isn’t enough time in our day or week to write, but is that really true? (I’m plugging my ears so I can’t hear all of your excuses about how busy you are…la la la…I can’t hear you). For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t have enough time, it’s that we haven’t set enough time aside for writing. In other words, we wait until the end of the day when we’re about to fall into bed before we think about the fact that we have this great story we’re supposed to be working on. Do we start writing? No! Who would want to get out of the bed to write?
If we don’t plan writing time, it doesn’t get done. It doesn’t matter if you can’t set aside two or three hours every day, just pick a certain time every day or even every week and make that your writing time.
Otherwise, you will end up doing this all week and it will drive you crazy.
Don’t worry about being good.
This may seem counterproductive. Why write something if it isn’t going to be any good? But sometimes we need to let go of our critical side and tell ourselves it’s ok to write crappy stuff. It doesn’t matter if our writing doesn’t sound like ________ (insert favorite genius author here). We won’t get any better unless we write, and we won’t get any writing done if we keep comparing ourselves to people who have been writing a whole lot longer than we have.
It’s perfectly ok to suck. No one made the best seller list with their first draft.
Just do it.
Humm…where have I heard that before? 😉 Seriously though this works for writing too. We’ve set aside some time for writing and we’ve given yourself permission to write crappy stuff, but we still don’t want to write.
I’ll let you in on some profound knowledge: an amazing trick that will get you writing and keep that procrastination away. Do it anyway!
Quit spending time on Twitter or avoiding your desk completely because it makes you feel guilty that you aren’t writing. Sit down and type. One. Word. At. A. Time.
I promise, if you do these things procrastination will run away like a vampire at sunrise (unless they’re Stephenie Meyer’s vampires of course).
And if they don’t, print this out and put it in every room of your home.
That’s all the advice I have to offer. What about you? (Yes, I’m still trying to get you to write this post for me, but hey I did most of it right?). What have you found that works best against procrastination?