1. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Dealing with procrastination

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Birmingham, Jan 31, 2011.

    We've all dealt with procrastination, I assume. Sometimes it's a writer's block, sometimes it's just that we're not in the mood, or busy, or maybe writing a certain paragraph, chapter, character, or event, takes a lot out of us emotionally, because it forces us to relive something, or it just plain feels like homework.

    So, bottom line, how do you deal with procrastination?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've only ever experienced it with one scene - it didn't stop me writing quite the reverse in the month I was procrastinating it I wrote a novella, worked on an older novel and wrote five short stories. The only cure was to get help, feedback, talk about it then park my butt and write it.

    I have the opposite problem creating balance with the rest of my life, if I had no children, no friends, no husband and no need to make money I'd be happy as anything lol

    I find building relationships with my characters, writing 0 drafts where I don't care about quality, talking about my plots and characters, asking silly nitpick questions on here etc all help prevent block - when i am really fed up a day out on beach or in the woods brings me back refreshed.
     
  3. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I apply my butt to the chair and my fingers to the keyboard.
     
  4. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I do something else for a while then come back to it when inspiration hits me.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the only way to deal with it is to make yourself stop stalling and get to work... there's no magic formula that will do it for you...
     
  6. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was intending to respond to this, but I think I'll just do it later... ;)
     
  7. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was planning to respond to this but I'm too busy procrastinating about my procrastinating writing tendencies. *Sigh*
     
  8. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never do today what can be put off until tomorrow, Emma. ;)
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the best way to overcome it. Just sit down and make yourself do it.
     
  10. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is actually a magic formula. It's called Procra-Stop, and is available in most supermarkets. I almost walked to my local one and bought a bottle tonight, but decided it can wait for another day. ;)
     
  11. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, what if the very action that rids oneself of procrastination is a magic formula of a kind?
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    See this is where I think writing not being entirely solitary is useful - talking about my writing to people, telling my stories verbally is very useful. Usually has me excited to sit down as soon as I can and write the new ideas down.

    Like on here the Does Evil Need a Reason Thread - has given me a gazillion ideas and my stories a greater depth and beauty that just being allowed to talk it out and have people ask me questions has brought about. Without that interaction from others my stories would be a lot more stale, and a lot less fun to write. I am the biggest procrastinator with things normally number 1 area for me is housework lol - however with my writing just keeping up with my characters and making it fun makes sitting down easy.
     
  13. impure
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    impure Member

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    Motivation kills procrastination.
    List out your ideas and act on them.
     
  14. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    Thank you for creating this thread, the very word procrastination has been screaming at me from its title this afternoon as I... procrastinated... and now within the last twenty minutes I have written a new opening paragraph to my novel that I really like.

    My method, which I still start using again FIRST THING TOMORROW, is not to allow myself any forums until I've written a thousand words.
     
  15. Cornys
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    Cornys Member

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    The only thing that has ever helped me was a fan base, and since I quit fanfiction.net I've been really, really bad about it. I've went from getting 50 P.M's a day when I'm over a week for posting a chapter to 0 in the last couple of months since I bowed out of that site. I need to work on my novel again, as I wrote 150,000 words over the year I was on fanfiction, and only 17,000 in the 6 months since. I could have had my novel half way finished if I still had that large fan base, but alas I don't, so I do not.
     
  16. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Overcoming_Procrastination/Resources

    Albert Ellis wrote a good book on it, so look it up.

    Usually, procrastination is caused by perfectionism. You're afriad to can't do it perfectly and so you put it off until it turns into failure, which of course you made happen to convince yourself you're a failure. That's the extreme version and all other are shades. In contrast, when you're confident about something you can do it well and practically be on autopilot.

    The goal to get over the problem is to tell yourself to do your best and that something can always be revised. However, if your don't complete your work there's nothing to revise and nothing is far more imperfect than something.
     
  17. yuriicide
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    yuriicide Member

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    I open up a bottle of whiskey :cool:
     
  18. hyperchord24
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    hyperchord24 Member

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    Allegro hit my problem on the head. Sometimes I need a little pep talk. But like Stephen King says, if you can't write 2,000 words a day and read read read, you can't expect to be a good writer. Like everything else, it takes practice to get something right.
     
  19. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    And just like homework, you just get yourself a deadline that day and do it anyway.
     
  20. Slammoth
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    Slammoth Member

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    It's hard to allow yourself to do anything else but write, what with music available at the click of a button, and the internet on your fingertips. Trust me, I know.

    The trick is to just realize that the magic won't happen until you devote your full attention to it for a time. Just focus on your work, find a method that works for you. List goals, a word limit, a deadline or something. Whatever helps you get to that zen-like state where your brain works away and the pages are being filled with sweet, sweet prose. Or whatever it is you write.
     
  21. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are asking people who are browsing WritingForums instead of writing???
     
  22. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ Haha, good point.

    What you do is procrastinate until you can no longer procrastinate and therefore forced to do work.

    Or, you know, set yourself a deadline - works better if someone else knows the deadline so that it's not just you who knows the deadline which makes the deadline more real. Or you go somewhere such as the library or a public study place to work and bring only pen and paper (so you don't have your laptop or whatever where you can procrastinate playing games etc.)
     
  23. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Set a time to write every day and stick to it even if writing is the last thing you want to do. If you do that for two weeks it will start to become a habit. I started working on my latest book in November after several years away from regular writing. I write for 1.5 to 2 hours every evening (except Friday nights, that's my day off), and 4 to 5 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Some times I onlyt get about 400 words down, other times I spit out nearly 2,000. I look forward to firing up the word processor each night.
     
  24. Lennon
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    Lennon New Member

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    Try and think about when your mind is most productive, for example mine is in the morning - my mind races with ideas from the moment I am awake, where as of a night time/evening time or even afternoon my creative juices slow down. That is different for everybody of course but like i say if you can pinpoint your most productive window try and discipline yourself to go to work then. Otherwise if it ain't happening just leave it for another day, but not for too long......
     
  25. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would suggest you spend some time gaining mastery of an online multiplayer game. When you've done that, go online and beat some faceless folk from far-flung continents into the ground. Repetedly. The sense of achievement and the surge of testosterone will give you that purpose and drive you need.

    Either that, or reflect on the brevity of life.
     

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