Monday, 8 December 2014

Procrastination? Bah... no problem.

Writing is hard. It’s not just a matter of typing a few thousand words. The process involves digging deep into your inner psyche to come up with a story, attaching emotion to that story (which means you have to feel that emotion at some level), making sense of it (for your readers), making it interesting and enjoyable, and turning it into something which doesn’t resemble the creative emotional regurgitation it really is.

It's no wonder we procrastinate sometimes. Here are my tips to help you get past the Big P. 

1. Remove the time pressure. What’s the hurry anyway? You don’t have to write a whole novel in one day. Allow yourself to take it easy because even 100 words a day will get you there in the end.

2. Set yourself an alarm and write until it goes off. Start with fifteen minutes, because you can do anything for fifteen minutes, and all those fifteen minutes sessions will soon add up

3. Do it in the morning before you do anything else. (Okay - coffee allowed.) Your brain waves are at their most creative when you first wake so this is the ideal time to tackle a creative project. 

4. Eat that frog. Seriously - if the worst thing you had to do all day was eat a frog, you’d know that once you ate it, everything else would be a cinch. So do it. Eat that frog and there’s nothing else to worry out.
Toby's day improved dramatically after the frog incident.
5. Ask for help. Stuck with a plot point, continuity issue or character flaw? Tell someone else and ask their opinion. They might not have the answer, but just getting it out of your system could well leave enough room for you to come up with a solution yourself.  

6. Take the phone off the hook. Block facebook, twitter and pinterest. Shut your workspace door.

7. Alternatively, write with a friend. You can keep each other on track, reassure each other, and give each other moral support.

8. Form a habit. Do something the same time every day so that it starts to become a habit. When you don’t do it, you’ll miss it.

9. Make a list of everything you need to do, and include writing on that list. Tick off everything you achieve, as you achieve it, and commit to finishing the list every day.

10. Allow yourself to reflect on the great feeling you get when you actually achieve what you set out to.

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