I don’t want to.
Hmm, maybe I should finally clean out my desk.
So that’s fixed. I’m ready. Wait, first let me get some coffee.
OK, I’m all set. Here it goes.
The cursor winks at me. As if it’s mocking me. Taunting be by saying: “See, you can’t do it!”.
Oh well, maybe I should check if I got some new likes on my last Instagram post. I can write later.
So, there I am, thoughtlessly skimming through Instagram. Before I know it, I’m browsing Twitter and Facebook too.
Do I have new fans on Medium?
Do you recognize this vicious cycle? Welcome to procrastination land. We’re all there visiting sometimes. Some more than others, but writers on the other hand… Well, let’s not include other writers in this. I’m talking about myself. Lingering in my comfortable chair in procrastination land. Where nothing can harm me, where I can judge instead of be judged. Where I indulge in other people’s efforts instead of my own.
Do you recognize this too? So how can we set ourselves against it?
How I prevent procrastinating and actually induce writing
- Let it go: if your ideas are running thin, I you feel drained, just let it go. Write tomorrow. (But make sure you don’t use this excuse everyday).
- Exercise and break a sweat: once your refreshed from exercise and a shower you can make a new and energized attempt.
- Take a walk: don’t listen to music, just wander. If you have ideas write them down on a notepad or in your phone.
- Meditate: take a break, let your mind rest. I’m a fan of Headspace.
- Read something inspiring: this can be connected to your writing subject or just a beautifully written novel to inspire your own prose.
- Make lists and break them down into actionable steps: take a scene and just write down ideas until you can’t anymore. Break these ideas down. Which characters are involved, what’s happening, what message do you want to bring across? Once you’ve scribbled down elements you want to write about, slowly add more. Now you only need to rewrite it in readable prose.
The best solution
What works best for me to stop myself from pushing forward my writing duties is to start my day with writing. Right after I wake up. I don’t do anything else. From my bed I move to my desk, put on some robes and open my laptop right were I left the story. And then I wink back at the cursor. Before I know it, I’m procrastinating to procrastinate (take that!).
Now I’ve entered writing land. It’s way more exciting than procrastination land. Here’s where the magic happens. Once there, I take a stroll through its maze. It leads me to dead ends too, but my characters or ideas drive me in other directions, seeking the end of the maze. Sometimes I get on the rollercoaster, just for fun. If time allows, I stay there until my inspiration dries out. I scribble, invent, steer and play around through my characters. It makes me not want to leave. On some days I can’t, I have to make myself to get out and return to the real world. To my responsibilities. But the great thing is, I can go back anytime!
So what happens on those mornings? I’ve already accomplished the single most important task of the day! I’ve written! Then, everything else is a bonus. You should try it.
What’s your best way you trick your brain out of procrastination and into writing?
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Originally published at medium.com