This topic is thrown around often in conversations involving writers and aspiring writers. It is a done and dusted area, but considering I’ve been lounging on the train at procrastination station for a good two weeks, I need to write this post for me more than anyone.
The answer of course to the question how to get your writing done? is simple: Just. Do. It.
Ignore the little voice inside you who wants to watch Game of Thrones or wants to play The Sims or even the one who tells you you’re writing is crap.
Whether it’s procrastination or writer’s block or not having enough time – if you give in to those three evil things, you won’t write anything.
Here’s how to combat each:
This awful specimen is the reason I’ve been inactive for two weeks. I’ve been doing everything under the sun (aside from cleaning) to avoid editing. Watching TV, playing games, reading, gardening, markets, resumes, inbox culling, blog posting, interview writing, socialising, … Variety is the spice of life, and it is important to take a break from writing (especially if you have a day job, because it’s like having two jobs), but not in excess. Don’t prolong the experience from a break to a never ending holiday. It will not get stuff done. And the only way to get past this issue is to just do it.
Which leads me to:
Not Having Enough Time
Best advice I’ve heard for this writer-stopper is to ask yourself how much television you watch every night (*cough* I’ve been watching too much *cough*). Don’t fool yourself the same way I did: I’ll only watch one episode of Dr Quinn Medicine Women whilst going through my emails before turning it off and editing. Did not happen. Maybe you have more self control and can do that, but if you’re reading this post for help, then I assume your self control isn’t good. Do the things which need doing first. Make your writing a priority. As soon as you get out of bed or come home from work, open up that computer/notebook and start. The distraction zone has been eliminated and soon you’ll find at least half an hour to write instead of watching Netflix.
I consider myself very lucky to not suffer from this particular evil. Since I don’t expect my writing to be amazing, when the first draft comes out shit I don’t want to hide it. I stay humble and remember: You can’t edit a blank page. Ignore the silly voice inside your head who hates what you write and remember writing, like any skill, takes practice. The first words are never going to be amazing. The next ten might be horrible too. But you have to get through all the bad stuff to get to the good.
If you literally have no ideas and that’s why you have writer’s block, I disagree with you. Write anything. There’s twenty-six letters in the alphabet and it’s easy to form a sentence. It may not be a very good sentence and may appear not to lead anywhere, but I promise it will get your somewhere.
And now after spending 525 words writing this blog post, I’m going to open up the document I’m supposed to be editing and work at it [hopefully] for a good half an hour [and more].
What do you do to get back on track after a break?
-Jo Carter 🙂