Monday’s a great time to talk about procrastination! Today we have Catherine Chant talking about tips to help us write even if we tend to procrastinate.
When faced with something difficult, it seems the natural reaction is to avoid it. To procrastinate. To do anything but the difficult task until you can’t avoid it any longer.
Let’s face it, writing is difficult. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Writing is work. Sometimes it’s fun but other times it’s a challenge, one writers don’t always face enthusiastically.
So, are you really “blocked” or are you just avoiding a difficult task? If you suspect the latter, come clean. Honesty is the best policy and all that.
Admit to yourself that you are a procrastinator and accept there’s nothing wrong with this per se. It’s a natural reaction to hard work. It doesn’t mean you are lazy (unless you do nothing to change it, of course).
Once you accept that procrastination is going to happen, you can form a plan to work around it and still accomplish your goals. Here are few things to try to help re-motivate yourself to get back to writing.
- Do something mindless like laundry where the only thought you have is whites or colors. This leaves your mind free to wander and if you subtly nudge it in the direction of your work-in-progress, you may be surprised to find some ideas sneaking up from your subconscious as you fold those towels.
- Keep a notebook handy for when those moments of subconscious inspiration hit. You may not be able to get to the computer fast enough before the thought fades, so tiny notebooks can be very handy.
- Have a goal and write it down. Then tape it somewhere you can see it every time you are at your computer. Give yourself a deadline for this goal as well. Deadlines create a pressure to succeed that often motivates us more than simple wishing to get something done.
- Partner up with another writer to hold each other accountable for reaching these deadlines. When you feel the need to “hand in something” like the old days of homework to avoid letting your partner down, it can help keep you motivated to succeed.
- Set reasonable goals. If the goals you list are monumental and unrealistic, you’re only setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set yourself up for success with smaller goals. Then if you exceed those goals by your deadlines, you’ll feel you’ve accomplished so much more.
- Write on a regular schedule. The more you make it a habit, the more it trains your brain to realize when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play.
- Turn off email. I know it’s hard, but the Internet is one of the worst distraction and procrastination tools out there. Unplug that cable or turn off that wireless and get offline. Try limiting your online usage to specific times of the day, or even use it as a reward for meeting your writing goal for that day.
Speaking of which…
- Reward yourself. Find something you really love and dangle it as a carrot until you meet your goal.
And last of all…
- Celebrate your successes. At the end of the week, look back and tally up the goals you met and revel in your accomplishments.
Brief blurb for the book:
Travel back in time to 1957 for a little drama, a few life or death moments, and a lot of rock ‘n’ roll romance in WISHING YOU WERE HERE by Catherine Chant. This young adult time travel romance is available now at Amazon.com
Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. Before becoming a full-time writer, Catherine worked as a computing & communication consultant at Boston College. In 2006, she put that tech knowledge to good use and began teaching online workshops for her fellow writers. She currently offers four classes through various RWA chapters and writing organizations. You can learn more about Catherine and her workshops at her website http://www.CatherineChant.com or visit her on Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/CatherineChantNovels and Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/Catherine_Chant
Cindy here again!
Thanks so much for being here, Catherine. I tend to procrastinate so this is a great post for me.