Hello Inspired Writers!
This week I have been procrastinating a lot and I feel like everyone in the writing community is feeling this way for some reason this week. I have seen many other blogs talking out this topic, but I swear I only talk about the subjects that are interesting me each week and this happens to be it. I probably should plan my posts ahead of time, but I could not be bothered at the moment but perhaps in the holidays I will make some sort of schedule.
If you are idle, so is your mind and your hands. They will go reaching for things instead of the keyboard. The best place to start is to purchase a diary, something cute that you will actually want to write in and carry around with you. The best way to beat procrastination is to know when you are meant to be doing something. Schedule you day from the morning to the night and set a time where you are going to write and stick to it. Be at your desk or other designated writing area when the clock strikes writing time.
2. Get Other Tasks Out of The Way
It almost sounds counterproductive. In fact cleaning the house or watching that episode of How to Get Away with Murder may seem like procrastinating, but if you get all those things that are itching away at the back of your mind done then all you will have left is writing. Once you have finished everything you needed to finish they will not worry you when you are typing out your story.
3. Have A Set Time To Write Everyday
I feel that this is the best way to create a habit and beat procrastination. If you write at the same time every day you will be more inclined to do it because this is your writing time. It will also help your family or others to know not to disturb you at this time, as they will get familiar with your schedule.
Also, setting a time to write every day means that your novel gets finished quicker. You will be encouraged to write more and until one day you are rewarded with a finished manuscript.
4. Work In Short Sprints
This is extremely important! You do not need to dedicate a whole day to your writing and in fact, I believe doing this encourages procrastination. It is not the fact that you do not want to write your book, you do, it’s just labouring away at it all day. Doing this is good every now and again, but it encourages procrastination and your mind will wander.
If you work in short sprints it forces your mind to get focused and knuckle down for that time. You know it is short (preferably an hour) and so you are less inclined to go on Instagram or do something else. Be strict with yourself and keep to your allotted writing time, this way the more you do it the more the brain knows that it cannot procrastinate.
5. Have a Designated Writing Area
If you are writing in a new place each time, there will always be fun things to look and touch. Therefore, you should have a dedicated writing spot which makes you comfortable and lets the juices flow. It has to be a place where you are happy to spend most of your time. Mine is my bed in my pyjamas.
Also, if you have a space just for writing from the moment you sit down, your brain knows its writing time. Thus, less procrastination as that is where your writing mojo is!
I find I always want to clean my room whenever I am procrastinating about something. So I have discovered the best way of beating procrastination is to keep my room clean. A clean workspace equals a soundmind. This is absolutely true, I am not spouting out words like a guru for nothing. You feel less suffocated when your writing space is clean and you have nothing at the back of your mind saying ‘Maybe you should go and do this quickly’.
It is imperative you keep your designated writing space free of clutter, otherwise when procrastinating you will reach for it.
7. Turn Your Phone Off And Hide It
This is imperative. If you do not do anything else, you must do this. My phone is my biggest distraction and procrastination maker. I find myself clicking at it almost every second and it kicks in the most when I am writing. What I do is I text all the people who I believe will call me during my writing time and tell them that I will be turning my phone off for a while. I then switch it off and place it somewhere in my room where it would be inconvenient for me to get off my butt to pick up. If you’re wondering my got to spot is under the bed. If I’m writing and think about going through social media and realise it’s under the bed, I immediately get deterred at the thought of crawling under there. To much effort, I might as well keep writing.
8. Close The Curtains
Interesting things happen outside and we like to look. I find writers have a knack for sitting and staring out of windows. When this is productive and you are thinking out your book that is fine. But if you are watching the hot neighbour mowing his lawn shirtless that is a different story. Close those curtains up and fully immerse yourself in your book.
9. Do Not Eat, But Drinks Are Allowed
Eating, eating and eating. I love to eat but I do not snack while I write. Always eat before or after your writing session because if you snack as you are doing it, you will find that you will be doing more of that than your book. Tea and coffee is okay, it’s awesome to have something to mindlessly sip on as you write, I feel like it helps get the juices flowing.
10. Plan Out Your Scene Before You Start Writing It
I always do this before I embark on writing a scene or a chapter. I find that if I do not plan out how I want the section to go, I will sit procrastinating about it for ages. If you plan it out, you will feel motivated to get it done and you will not struggle as much through the tough scenes. All you need to do is take out your ideas journal for that particular story and write what you think will happen in the scene. It doesn’t have to be extremely detailed, so long as it has all of the main points.
Let me know how you go and if you will try out any of these techniques. Also, do any of you do these things listed? Tell me what else you do to help kick procrastination in the butt.