Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wait just a minute.

We all do it. We all feel bad about it. And then we do it some more. It’s a vicious cycle. And with the arrival of Spring and Sun in our lives, some of us use that energy to kick our writing into high gear. But there are some of us who feel the pull of warm weather and the rebirth of green taking us outside and dragging us further into our procrastinating writerly ways. Procrastinating Writers has an interesting post here about how to overcome procrastination.

So my question to you is this. Have you tried any of these fixes? Will you? What do you do to kick your procrastinating self into gear?


  1. I need to find quiet time away from my kids. I think I'm going to get a sitter for few hours along with listening to the music that inspired my current WiP. I hope that helps:)

  2. A time away from my busy life always helps, going and sitting with the birds gives me the most inspiration, it could be because my current WIP takes place outdoors a lot and in an imaginary world and outside my apartment is a huge open area where I picture the House just sitting there!

    Great post!

  3. I only get 2 1/2 hours per day when Monster Baby is in school so I HAVE to use that time for writing. It's the only SILENT time I have. The rest of the day, as hard as I try to get back to it, after lunch usually just never works out. I have no idea what I'm going to do when she's out for the summer.

  4. If I find myself procrastinating, I get up and do something to get the blood flowing again: go for a walk, do dishes, do something and then when I return to the writing, it flows. :)

  5. When I find myself procrastinating, I remind myself how hard I work at my freelance and think, wow if I put that same effort to my book, what could I accomplish? It's a good motivator.

  6. Ditto Aubrie--some physical activity usually does me good, especially a walk, or maybe a shower.

    Also, strange as it sounds, sometimes it helps if I turn on my little space heater. It gives me white noise PLUS it keeps me warm...and I'm always cold, especially my hands. Typing with cold fingers is le suck.

  7. Normally I'm not a procrastinator, but sometimes yes-- guilty. I deal with it by reminding myself that what I did while procrastinating was probably important, too!

  8. My problem is that I'm easily distracted. I keep checking my inbox for one of my writer friend's amazing insights into something I'm writing. Or I just have the urge to check out a blog I'm following or peak at Twitter. When the distracts are too much and keep me from focusing on my wip, then I go unplugged.

  9. I am with Summer. I also get myself going with a great walk!

  10. What a great post! I multi-task (perpetually), so logging my time would be a futile task ... but years ago, I started myself into the habit of writing daily. It's become so ingrained that I know I can release it for extenuating circumstances without losing the groove.

    What I've learned about myself is I don't procrastinate unless a) I'm worn through and I *need* the break or b) I've subconsciously hit a plot-block and need to step away. In both cases, not much would be accomplished by bulling forward anyway. So I try not to give myself permission to feel guilty, because then coming back feels like a chore. Instead, I try to figure out whether it's a) or b) that's bothering me and go straight to solving it.

    Also ... walks are awesome. A good, solid walk is always an act of productivity. ;-)

  11. Unfortunately, procrastination is my M.O. in just about every aspect of my life. Also, because I work 40 hours a week, and have a family, and am an American Idol ADDICT (I can't help it!), it's very easy to procrastinate.

    Tried the blogging--didn't work for me, although I think it's a stellar idea.

    I do love the suggestion of treating writing as a part time job. My next step is to convince my family members, in my very small home, that when I'm at a computer with head phones on that means that I am INVISIBLE. INVISIBLE! I cannot be touched (talking to you, hubby), cajoled, questioned about laundry, food, or any other matter.

    I'll also have to contain my enthusiasm for American Idol...

    Ah, I feel better having written that.

  12. Ah yes, my old friend procrastination. I set a schedule for myself and allow no room for manoeuvering. If I deviate from said schedule, the day goes to pieces!

    Happy Spring!

  13. The way I finally beat my ADD/procrastination was to set everything I wanted to do with this novel into a timeline (first draft, resting, edits, second draft, sharing, queries, etc). I told myself I had nine months to get the first draft carved out, because it's my first novel and I'm treating it like a baby (LOL). Once I realized I only had about two and a half months left, I really kicked into high gear. It's just a matter of deciding what's important to you. If writing is your career, you'll make it happen somehow.

  14. How to beat procrastination? Lol, I'm still working on that one! However, one thing that works is to remind myself that I'm not getting any younger and if I want to have my book published, I have to finish writing it:)

  15. I need to be alone with everything on my to-do list done. Then I have no excuses, just me and the little world I've been creating.

    But sometimes procrastination is necessary. I hate doing it but sometimes I have to because, I later find, I just wasn't ready to write the next scene.

  16. Yeah, I definitely write more in the winter than during the warmer months. Mostly because I like getting outside, hanging on the beach, surfing, gardening, swimming in the pool, grilling and margaritas.
    Fall/winter I can really hunker down and knock out some word count.

    If my macbook didn't glare so badly out in the sun (I cant really see the screen), then I think I would write a bit more in the summer. And if it were waterproof?! Then, THEN I'd really have something!(but I do read a lot in the summer...a book or 2/day. I consider that part of my writing/craft study. See how I rationalize?) Sometimes I take a notebook and pen outside with me.

    Usually what makes me get back to the laptop is the voices in my head demanding I do so. Ideas that don't stop, no matter the weather.

    Happy Humpday, my friend.

  17. I lock myself in my room and just don't leave until I'm done!! Or until the chocolate runs out. One or the other...

  18. I think sometimes getting outside, taking a break, andenjoying the lovely warm weather is invigorating. It fuels me to write more. It animates me to get the most out of my indoor time.

  19. Have you been reading my mind again, because this post MUST be aimed at me! :-)

    Thanks for the link.

  20. I'm so excited for Spring. I don't know why, but I always get a lot more writing done this time of year. I'm weird, I know. : )

  21. Mmmm... the suggestions look interesting but, knowing myself as I do, I know that there is no amount of planning or field-tested fixes that will save me from the procrastinating bug.

    As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink ;-)

    And sometimes - who knows? - a walk in the spring sun and a breath of fresh air might be more inspiring than tying ourselves to a computer screen...

  22. There is something about Spring that has me longing to hit up my fave beach bar and just enjoy the sunshine and some frosty bevs...Maybe if I go that the procrastination will cease. Ah ha ha

  23. All I can do is sit down and make myself begin to write something. Hoping it turns into an idea. Usually start with an idea in mind and end up somewhere entirely different! As in my post called "Life." Never now where I am going unless it is memoir and even then it can turn.

  24. What a great post -- this one and the post you linked. I love the idea of logging my time. I do well with accountability.

  25. I've got the 'Eat That Frog' book. It's great! I think I should read it again :o)

  26. Christine, I’m with you on needing quiet time. I need some or I swear my head is going to explode.

    Jen, thanks. Sitting with the birds sounds wonderful. I’m a little jealous of your outdoor space. It’s supposed to snow here tomorrow.

    Anne, summer strikes fear into the hearts of most parents everywhere.

    Aubrie, walking sounds great; exercise and ideas. :)

    Portia, that’s a great idea. You’re right. A great motivator.

    Summer, a shower is where I usually have my best ideas. I need to learn how to write in there. And you sound like my daughter. She’s always cold, especially her hands and feet. She has Reynauds.

    Karen, good idea. :)

    Hi, Stina. Oh, shiny! I’m easily distracted, too. :)

    Betty, walking seems to be a favorite here.

    Lindsey, multi-tasking is part of it. I’m so exhausted at the end of the day/week/whatever. And you’re right. Sometimes there’s not a lot to do except back away and try not to feel guilty.

    Eva, poor Patrick. :) I’m glad writing this made you feel better.

    Talli, yay!schedules! Happy Spring to you, too.

    B. Miller, you’re right. Prioritizing is key. I love the idea of your first draft being your baby. :)

    Melissa, LMAO! None of us are getting any younger. :)

    E. Elle, alone is good. I like that.

    Lola, rationalization rocks! And always listen to the voices. :)

    Beth, uhmmmm, chocolate. :)

    Tamara, I think it’s a good thing for most of us that warm weather is here.

    Hi, Shannon. Hee! You’re welcome.

    Kimberly, not weird, lucky. Go!You!

    Nym, a walk in the lovely Italian sunshine sounds ideal. :)

    Kristen, give it a try and let us know how it works.

    Amy, you do such a wonderful job, I’m a little jealous.

    Amber, I like accountability, too. :)

    Niki, how cool is that?

  27. I'd say I hate procrastination, but it seems to be what I'm best at when it comes to writing.

    I have a two week vacation planned to do some much needed revisions on my first book. I hope I don't get distracted and end up trying to push two weeks of writing in two days.


  28. I just wrote a post about doing our scales as writers, how each crappy first draft can, at some point, build into something greater.

    PS: I like your blog links and writerly-stuff. I'll be back!

  29. All great suggestions here. As a beginning writer, I'm taking every crumb. I'm famished.

  30. I find I have to have on and off seasons. Times when writing is THE THING I do and times when I don't write at all. Right now, I'm writing like crazy, but I'm taking April totally off. No writing and reduced blogging. The OTHER THINGS are calling my name.

  31. Donna, good luck with the writing/revision on your vacation. I hope it goes well.

    Terresa, thank you. I like your blog, too. And your post about the scales building to something better. So very true.

    lakeviewer, thank you and welcome. :)

    Elle, that sounds about right. There are always other things calling us. And you deserve a break after March Madness. I can only imagine you really need it.