Stop putting off writing: 8 experts’ solutions
September 30, 2017| Category: Writing Tips
Like any other writer, you know the bad side of procrastination. And you need advice that will help you stop putting off writing. Read on to learn this advice, get good recommendations from renowned writers and find your motivation!
- Consider the cause. You need to understand the reason of your procrastination. Most likely, it isn’t your laziness. It can be the fear of getting started with a large piece of writing or the unconscious guilt for writing instead of doing something “more important”, like cleaning up the house. Realize the blocks that prevent you from starting. It’s the key to eliminating the habit of procrastination. Anne Lamott, the author of >Bird by Bird, says that if you can’t begin writing, “Just take it bird by bird.” Which means, start with smaller things.
- Remove your distractions. It is extremely important to eliminate as many distractions as you can. Neil Gaiman offers this as one of the main ways to fight procrastination. He says that to finally start writing, you have to imagine that you live in the world where you can either write or stare out of the window. Nothing else is allowed. And you know what, this advice works – sooner or later you will get bored with staring out of the window and will begin writing!
- Consider whether procrastination is of any assistance for you. Beware: you have to be careful with this tip! Look attentively in the way procrastination affects your writing. Does it make you a less successful or a more successful writer? According to Hilary Mantel, if your procrastination is productive, it helps you write much better. The reason is simple: when you get your rest, your unconscious mind does all the most important work. Is this truth in your case?
- It’s okay to be boring and bad. Sometimes you procrastinate only because you’re afraid of writing a boring or bad book. Forget the things you are afraid of and start! Maya Angelou says that there were times when she was spending weeks writing something “boring and bad”, but at some point, she got her muse back and turned that writing into something amazing. So do it this way: make a schedule and write every day for a certain period of time. Just write. It’s okay if you write standard words and uninteresting phrases. While you’re doing this, your unconscious mind is working on improving it all.
- Make writing your refuge. Some writers say that it’s hard for them to write during the difficult periods of their lives, when they feel especially stressed out and depressed. In fact, it can really be hard to focus on writing during these periods. But, on the other hand, you can always make writing your refuge, like Stephen King once did. He got into a terrible car accident that almost killed him and he thought that he’d never be writing again. However, soon enough, he resumed writing and found healing in this. What if writing will work as a therapy for you too? Try it!
- Verif y your direction. Sometimes, when you hesitate doing something, it means that you’re doing something wrong. A famous British author Martin Amis says that his father, also a British writer Kingsley Amis, would just ask himself what was worrying him in the periods of procrastination. And he did the same thing for his son. So ask yourself where you took a wrong turn and how you can fix it to enjoy writing again.
- Find your voice and your plot. Nathan Bransford says that the only thing you actually require to write your first draft is the understanding of your voice and your plot. You can think about your writing like about a process where you discover something. Remove all the pressure you might be putting on yourself. Just get started.
- Be happy. If you want to know how to be happy about writing, read the book If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This book tells about the joy of writing and gives you important advice. Try to resemble Lord Byron, but be happy at the same time. Don’t let writing become just another chore you have to do every day. Let it be your main source of happiness, joy and pleasure. If you had had this joy before but lost it for some reason, you need to rediscover it and you won’t want to procrastinate again. Think about the things that motivated you in the beginning. Recall what you liked about writing in the first place and why you decided to become a writer.
Many writers sometimes feel that they are alone in their problem. They think that they are the only ones who can’t get started. But that’s wrong. A lot of writers have experienced the effects of procrastination at some points – both the beginners and successful renowned writers. So, you’re not the only one struggling with that. Understanding this might help you feel better about yourself and find a solution to your problem much quicker. Try all the recommendations given in this article and see which one will help you the most. If you work on yourself, understand what makes you put off your writing, properly deal with procrastination, and turn writing into your source of happiness, you’re bound to become a successful writer!