Pitfalls

Procrastination tips for well-meaning writers

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Oh, how you want to write. You need to write. You intend to write. But, one of the biggest hurdles writers must overcome is procrastination.

procrastination tips

Procrastination can stump writers (Flickr: Rennet Stowe)

It’s funny how when the time comes to write, chores have a way of looking pretty good.

Suddenly, pulling weeds and painting a closet become must-do tasks when faced with a self-imposed 2,000 word daily quota.

Besides, why write today when you can really dive in tomorrow?

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Serious and committed writers reject procrastination and understand the importance of keeping the flames of productivity burning.

They discipline themselves. They stay focused and driven, but they are human, too. Just like you and me. And every once in awhile they succumb to the urge to simply walk away from their desks.

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So, what are some ways to stay on task?

Procrastination tips include:

–Make a daily list of goals. Give yourself about three or four that can be easily checked off as completed. Once you capture that low-hanging fruit, you will feel inspired to keep reaching and striving for check-marking the whole list.

–Give yourself deadlines. Or ask an editor or writing colleague to crack the whip and set a deadline for you. Engage in a manuscript swap where a writing peer is waiting for — no, expecting — your draft on a certain day. Then, don’t disappoint.

–Resist the urge to think and think some more. Just do. And if you find you can’t write, then pick up a pad of paper and a pencil and doodle some notes. The acting of scrawling words and images on the page may help coax you in a writerly direction.

–Stay away from social media. Consider working on a trusty word processor or a computer that cannot access Facebook or Twitter. And, for goodness sake, avoid Solitaire and Candy Crush at all cost.

–Keep a variety of projects going all at one time. If you grow bored with one, then simply switch over to another for some healthy time away. The space will allow you to rejuvenate and regenerate some new ideas for your writing project.

–Finally, don’t stress. The fact is, daydreaming and goofing off can be a great tool for writers. It keeps the imagination alive and gives the brain cells some much needed down-time.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at EducatedWriter.com and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

Kerri S. Mabee

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