I just wanted to take a moment to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart. It’s something that is very important and flows through everything I do as a writer.
I am talking about procrastination. Its something we all probably keep close by at all times. Just like a common cold or a loving wife, at some point we are going to be fighting it. But all procrastination has a root cause and if you can identify the cause and correct it, your little procrastination monster may just wander off to attack someone else.
Here are some examples of root causes of procrastination.
“I’m just so tired!”
This is probably my favorite and most common cause of procrastination. And I get it. I worked all day, I have to go home and take care of the kids and by the time I have time to myself, I still want to have quality time with the wife and then, BOOM, it’s ten o’clock at night.
The only real way to combat this is to identify your routine and look for holes in it. Do you have 30 min at lunch to write? Are you a morning person and can get up a little earlier to write? Do you have Red Bull in the house?
Also I find that sometimes getting started is the hardest part and once I get working, I am not nearly as tired as I felt.
“I have so many things to do”
We all do, always. Whether it is laundry or dishes or bills or work or other projects, you need to set aside time and balance your priorities. The last thing you want to happen is to to become so paralyzed with your To-Do list, that you do nothing. Just pick the least important one and do that first. What will likely happen is you realize it won’t take that long to knock out, or you get so annoyed with it, you move on to do something more important!
“It’s getting late”
This is a tough one, because sometimes it actually, truly is late. But if you have identified your routine, then you can effectively eliminate this as an excuse. If you have made the commitment to write into the evening, then you should be prepared to manage your time, even if that means staying up even 15-20 min longer to write some.
I am not saying that you have to compromise on what your body needs, but if you have committed to evening writing sessions, you have no real reason to complain about the time!
Snacking is a right of passage for a writer. I wouldn’t be caught dead without something to eat/drink when I sit down to knock out some words. If you can eat a hamburger while driving, you can eat while writing. This should NEVER be an excuse.
And don’t get me started on having a cocktail nearby…
“I have plans”
This one is a little tricky and has been coming up lately when it comes to committing to Wordwraith meet ups. The only thing I can tell you here, is that if you want to be a writer, your “squad” or family/friends need to be supportive.
I’m not saying you should miss your daughter’s birthday or a funeral to write. I am saying your writing sessions should be landing on your calendar just like every thing else. This helps eliminate conflicts.
It all comes down to taking your writing seriously and treating it just like a dentist appointment or a school play. It is something that you HAVE to make time for.
What will end up happening is that you will start treating it that way naturally and will be less likely to make excuses why you can’t do it. Look, I know writing is hard and some days are a downright struggle. But if this is something that you truly love, you need to endure the hard times.
Writing everyday no matter what is a good way to combat this. Find 30 mins somewhere in the day. Any words added is progress, so even when you don’t feel like you can keep going, just commit to a sentence or two. You’d be surprised how it will make you feel!
¯_(ツ)_/¯ Ian and the Wordwraiths