Friday, February 20, 2009

Kicking Procrastination To the Curb

It would be easy for me to say "just do it" to whatever it is you're avoiding, but, I won't mislead you. If it were that easy, no one would procrastinate!

I've found a few helpful ways to skirt around the problem. What's at the top of my list? That's easy. Accountability. I'm not talking about accountability to myself, although I need that too; no, I'm talking about reaching out to a friend, family member, or writing buddy to keep me on track.

Since my preferred method of communication is e-mail, I typically write a whiney, boring note about how I don't feel like writing, my nose is stuffy, I'm out of chocolate, my book stinks, nothing good will ever come of writing, etc... I'll tell the recipient I'll check with them later to report my progress. Then I force myself to sit and write one page. Just one.

One page often leads to two, which leads to three, and what do you know? I'm writing again! I then e-mail my earlier victim with news of victory, feeling on top of the world.

What about more stubborn cases though? Last summer, I had a heavy bout of the doubts. Procrastination was inevitable. I still forced myself to stick to my writing goals. Trust me, it wasn't easy. There were days every word felt like it was being squeezed out of me. Even though the rough writing period felt endless, it gradually came to an end.

I'm glad I went through that, because it reminded me of the constant changes in life. Not everything we write will come easily, but that doesn't mean the end result isn't worth it. Our daily life affects our writing, and it's important to remember that good writing isn't necessarily the result of good feelings. I might struggle with writing one week because a family member is troubled, but that doesn't mean what I wrote that week was any worse than the stuff I wrote while in a good mood.

The only way to get through procrastination is to plow through. It might be difficult; your writing might not be as good as you want, but your discipline will get you through it. You can always fix problems later!

Another cause of procrastination is the lack of a project. Say you finished a story or book and now you have no idea what to work on. Instead of developing an earlier project, or coming up with a new idea, you do nothing. Procrastination equals paralysis.

Join me next week. We're going to talk about attracting ideas like magnets. You won't want to procrastinate if you have a file full of great ideas!

Enjoy your weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you!