Wednesday, May 16, 2018

On Writing: Overcoming Obstacles Three

As I continue the topic of overcoming obstacles in writing, I want to address procrastination. We all do it. Procrastination is probably the number one obstacle that writers face every day. How many times have you got ready to write, opened your laptop but ended up on Facebook for an hour instead of finishing your last chapter. Better yet how many times did you decide to research a topic again for the umpteenth time knowing you already have enough information to create a good scene instead of writing the scene.

It happens to even the best writers in the game. So how do we overcome this dastardly deed? First things first you must realize that procrastination is a habit and with all habits it can be broken. However, it is not a habit that can be stopped automatically. There will be a lot of effort on your part to develop new good writing habits. It is not so easy to “just do it” like Nike professes. With any habit you must develop healthy behaviors to overcome the unhealthy ones. I know, I know I went there, but you do want your writing career to be a healthy and productive one, right? So, treat it as such. You must find out the underlying reasons why you procrastinate when it comes to your writing. There could be several, but I will look at least three here.

One reason may be because you are afraid. You could be afraid of failure, have a fear of success, or fear of losing autonomy however, you should not let those fears stop you from writing. Ask yourself what you are afraid of and why. Get to the bottom of the presumed fear so you can work towards combating it successfully. Another reason why you may procrastinate is because you want to be perfect. Perfectionism goes hand in hand with procrastination because you have developed this warped sense that you must be perfect in your writing or even have the perfect atmosphere to write in before performing the task. Still another reason could be that you don’t like what you are writing. You may have developed a dislike for what you are creating because you are uninterested in the subject or it doesn’t confirm to your positive outlook on life.

But don’t fret, there are steps you can take to overcome procrastination. The first step is to take inventory of when you are procrastinating. Buckle down when you find yourself doing the act. I know it’s hard to admit when you are procrastinating but if you actively recognize when you are in the midst of that habit you can get back on track. Then you must figure out how you are procrastinating. Are you surfing social media, reading a fiction book for “fun”, organizing your desk or just eating another Snickers bar. Once you figure out how you’re doing it you can catch yourself and adjust. After these two seemingly basic steps have been adjusted then you can move on to creating an environment conducive to your writing needs. Make sure you set aside a space that is dedicated only to where you write your magic. That place could be the kitchen table after dinner or your desk inside your office. Once you are in that space you have to allow yourself time to write. Make it a priority to hash out the exact time of day you will be writing. After you commit to doing this seeming simple tweaks, you will finish your masterpiece and become a productive writer.


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