Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Procrastination. Don't Do It.

Procrastinate? Me? Never... Ha! Ha!

I could bore you to tears with the list of ridiculous things I do when I'm avoiding my laptop. Let's just say I've been known to fill in cupboard scratches with a wax crayon, I've vacuumed the baseboards, and I've even re-organized the fridge. Scary.

Yes, I know all about procrastination. If I've been away from my story a few days, weeks, or months, it feels as if it will take the jaws of life to get me writing again. When I avoid writing, I know I've been too far away from it. And that, my friends, breeds procrastination.

Remember back to a time when you were so engrossed in a story you were writing, time seemed to slip away. The story was so good, so compelling, you couldn't stand to be away from it. But time moved on, and you had a wedding to attend or some other distraction, and when you returned to write, what happened? Fear clutched in your heart and the doubts began to swirl. Was the story really as good as you thought? Where had you left off? Would you be able to get back into it? Maybe the plot wasn't the masterpiece you'd been so certain of?

Did you dive right back into the story? Yes? Good for you!

No? Me neither. Time away from your story can be deadly.

That's why it's so important to adhere to a regular writing schedule. The calendar doesn't lie. Whether I feel like it or not, I write. I tell myself it doesn't have to be any good; I can always fix it later. And, what do you know? I usually get right back into the story. Once again, the story is a masterpiece...

I lose NO days of writing to procrastination. (However, I do lose a few here or there due to other circumstances!)

Hey--maybe we should make that our mantra?


I might even shake my fist in the air while shouting it. That might scare the cat. Hmm...

Join me on Friday. We'll be making a list (and checking it twice) of ways we can beat procrastination.


Write Already! It's Wednesday!


  1. A lot of my clients are writers as am I (all be it, non-fiction in my case) and there needs to be something in place when you "can't" write. Just telling yourself to sit down and do it sometimes just will not work.

    Keeping regular writing habits is a good idea. Sometimes you come to page and just as your butt meets the seat, you get up and go eat ice cream, what then?

    I have people do a few things, sometimes I have them "write anything" write a shopping list, it really doesn't matter. Anything that is the act of writing words down is great.

    The most powerful tool, however, is the bookend. With my clients I have them break it down to the smallest steps if they are really wrestling w/ their work.

    So the breakdown of tasks might be:
    Turn on computer
    Open word doc
    re-read yesterdays work

    They bookend these steps by emailing, calling or txting me that they are about to do a task, and then again when they have completed each step.

    Sound silly? If your goal is to get to the page, does anything that gets you there seem silly if it works?

    Once they are at the page and ready to write if they need to loosen up, I either have them bookend a timed writing, like write as fast as you can for 15 minutes, or go to "Write or Die" (do you know about that site? Look up "Write or Die" on google if you don't, it's very handy).

    Once most people are involved in their writing they do alright.

    Glad I found your blog.

    My site will not come up, I don't think, when I send this comment, so I would like to share it here if that's ok.

    I'm the NAG at

  2. Thank you Rachel, not only for stopping by but also for the fantastic advice!

    I love the idea of breaking it down into steps, which we normally ignore, such as turning the computer on, etc...

    On bad days, we should give ourselves credit for every tiny thing we do to achieve our goals.

    I'll be sure to check out your blog!


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