By HappyLady
7 years ago

Overcoming Writer Procrastination

How to overcome procrastination and become a better person

Confessions of a writing procrastinator

I am a writer, or at least I say I am. Truth is, I procrastinate and my laptop is full of unfinished projects. I always mean to do something with the files, but they lay unfinished inside my writing machine of choice. Is that you too? Do you have file upon file of half started or half finished articles and books and a dream that one day, one day soon you will make your name by publishing it all. Let’s work together to make our dreams a reality.

There is a reason for my procrastination

There is a reason why we procrastinate and I will share mine. I am afraid what I write will not be good enough. That makes me lazy. I find everything else to do other than put my work out there in case somebody says it doesn’t pass the test of a true writer. Yours might be another reason, but that is the first step done for me. I identified the reason I procrastinate, and it comes down to sheer unadulterated, one of the seven deadly sins, pride. I don’t want to be found wanting.

Maybe your reason is different, but if you take a look at what stops you from finishing what you are writing, you will be able to identify the real reason you can’t get going with your writing career.

How are we both going to get going and succeed? Let’s not do the thing we both keep doing and run to a thousand websites telling us how to overcome procrastination. We read them all already. They were a good way of wasting yet more time. Instead, let’s work on producing some finished results.

Finding a focus

I have a thousand and one ideas churning into my head and I love to get them onto paper, or rather, into a text editor. So far so good, but in reality, I the thousand ideas I have churning in my brain paralyse me. I need to tease out the one thing I have to say and start saying it. That is how successful people work. They have one goal in mind and run with it. Too many ideas makes you want to give up because you cannot properly home in on any of them. That is why I am writing an anti-procrastination plan. Here it is.

Ask yourself a question

Ask yourself a question. What is the one thing above all else you want to say to the world right now? That is what you need to be writing about.

Make a decision

This morning you and I will choose one area to write about, and we will make a decision. We will focus on and run with that single idea until it runs out. 

Every other thing we are writing is on hold till that idea is at the publisher or out on the world-wide web.
Now we can concentrate on our single task and all the others can wait.

Figure your audience

Knowing who you are writing for is motivational. If you know your audience you have a road map for ordering your thoughts.  It means you write to one particular group of people in a style that makes them want to read. Without that, your book or article becomes hard to write because you are continually changing your mind how it should be written. Determine to stick to that one audience, even if you get tempted to change direction.
Work out where you are publishing and how
If you don’t know where your work will end up it will work as another demotivating factor.

Decide now where the work going. Is it your blog, your book, an article for a website, or what? Don't keep changing your mind or turning an article into a book. It will help you with things like style and even how much time you allocate to a particular project. Remember you can expand a short article into a book at a later date.

Set a deadline

We will never get anything done till we set a deadline. Mine just now is that this article must be out there on the world-wide web in the next two hours. After that, each other half finished article gets the same deadline and then it must be out there somewhere. Then it goes into a file that says done and dusted.

Have a goal#
By the end of today, I want at least 3 articles other than this finished. I want them published and with no need to return to them.
That means setting a timetable.

Make a timetable

By 12 this article will be done. I will complete the next by 2 and the next by 4 and so on whatever the distractions are. By 6 today I am closing the laptop and relaxing. That is the secret of a good time-table. It has some lounge around and do nothing time programmed in at the right time.

Set a deadline

Deadlines are the enemy of writing procrastination. Set yourself a deadline and say that after that the piece goes to the rubbish bin or the back of the queue.

Get someone to have a look

I don’t mean give your work to an editor. I mean find someone who will have a quick look and say if the piece works. It is amazing how some positive encouragement helps. Motivation is what we need, not criticism.

Don’t over-think things

My perfectionism stifles my writing. We know we need more than a simple spell check, but I go nuts looking through my work for imperfections. The reality is someone, somewhere will write a better article and others will write one far below my standard. It is time to let go, do the standard checks and press the send button. After all, what is the worst that can happen? If the editor sends it back you work on it more, buy at least you know what really needs your attention.

Guess what? I have achieved my goal, not in two hours, but one. For this morning at least, I have overcome my writing procrastination.

7 years
Sheryl I felt it
7 years
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6 years
HazySue Love it. So much good information and suggestions found in here.
6 years
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dorageorg ???
5 years
5 years
viktorija64 so much good information
5 years