1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Procrastination issue.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by colorthemap, Dec 31, 2010.

    Now I have a (I think) genius idea for a novel(no not a plot question, *whispers*cotigo!*whispers*) I just can't get myself to sit on my donkey and work on it. It is not that I have no free time, I have more then I need. AND I always have access to a computer. So I was just wondering what you all do to get your self writing agian. Please do not say it is your job so you have to do it:):):)

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I write because I want to write, and so I make the time to do it, especially when I have an idea that excites me. I daresay that if and when you really want to write, you will. You don't mention anything in particular that is keeping you from writing - no time-consuming commitments, no ailments of your own, no crushing personal problems. It sounds like the only thing keeping you from writing this great idea is...you.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You sound like one of the one hundred million would-be writers who will never write that novel they've had in mind for so many years. It's just not going to happen, because you won't do it.

    Millions of great novels have not been written because the would-be writers who thought of them just never bothered getting around to writing them.

    Would-be writers who just can't be bothered writing do not get any sympathy from me.

    I know that isn't what you wanted to hear. But we didn't want to hear that you have a great idea that you're just not going to write, either.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    One suggestion: Make yourself sit down and write every day, but start with a small goal. For example, you must sit down and try to write for fifteen minutes, or you must write 100 words, something like that.

    At this point you don't have to work on your specific plot, you don't have to write good stuff, you just have to write words. Your _entire_ goal at this point is forming the habit, no more; don't distract yourself with any other goal. When you're reliably doing that, increase or add to the goal.

    This is what I'm doing--I'm working on the itty bitty goal of 200 words of fiction a day. (I already write several hundred words of nonfiction a day; that's not the problem.)

    ChickenFreak
     
  5. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    You work on your novel 15 minutes a day--no more, no less. If you work on it more, you will burn out. If you work on it less, you won't get anything done. If you work on it for 15 minutes, you will look forward to doing it the next day.

    But if you have a genius idea for a novel, and your not going to write it, by all means, PM it to me.;)
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I second what minstrel said. Writing takes discipline. You have to put in the time in order to succeed. If you're feeling overwhelmed, then perhaps you should try taking on a smaller project (i.e. short stories).
     
  7. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the main problem is trying to sit on a donkey. You have to get comfortable, being relaxed is very conducive to writing.
     
  8. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Everyone has a process. I do not write every day though I do agree with those that suggest it.

    When I do write, it is because I have formed the section I need to. While I don;t type per se, I do spend lots of time formulating things in my head and gathering elements I need to continue.

    Writing for me is more along the lines of gestation and not a discipline. I am writing in my head and accordingly, making notes in a writers file I have. Then when I've developed what I have been formulating, I get to typing.

    I have a hard time infodumping. Doesn't ever turn out well for me.

    If you are not writing and only seeing what you want to write at a distance, then minstrel is right that you could be 'one hundred million would-be writers'. I think at minimum, you have to be actively doing something for what you are writing if not actually typing out the story...
     
  9. J_Jammer
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    J_Jammer Banned

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    Join a writing group. I am with two.

    I meet one every Tuesday and the other every third Saturday of the month. The second one we set goals.

    One of my goals is coming up and that's January 4th I should be done with my first edit of my novel (first book in a trilogy). I'm about 50 pages away from being done.

    The accountability in groups helps push me to do what I say I am going to do.

    As someone else suggested doing a few minutes a day will work as well too.

    One writer I went to a workshop to hear...said that he wakes up early and writes (just writes) for two hours each morning. He does zero editing. All he does is write for two hours. No one bothers him because it's early in the morning.

    You can do it. No one can force you. You have to do that yourself. :p
     
  10. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    There is an awesome site that gives you a text-box where you can write (and periodically copy-paste into your word doc). If you stop writing, the site will blast annoying music that will not go away until you keep writing again. You can choose different time periods for which it will let your keyboard remain inactive (5, 10 or 15 seconds I believe) before blasting the sounds, and you can choose what the consequences will be: annoying music, a gentle popup reminder, or the program slowly erasing the words you've written until you resume typing.

    If you want to know more PM me lol. (I don't think we're allowed to post other links on here). This is a real tool and it's free and awesome and it works.

    Aside from that, my tip is to avoid leaving off at the end of a completed scene. When you save your word doc to end the current writing sitting you're on, stay in the middle of a scene so you have momentum to pick up from when you come back to writing later. If you leave at the end of a scene, you've got to start a new scene on your next session, and this can lead to Great Blank Word Doc Syndrome.

    Hope I helped!!
     
  11. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    In life I've been working in the field of psychology for over twenty-one years and I'm a psychotherapist and evaluator. My favorite type of therapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is related to Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), which is really a great set of common sense ideas.

    The theme is that our thoughts shape our emotions and behaviors. If you have irrational thoughts, which are defined in the literature, you will experience emotional highs and lows that create suffering. Albert Ellis the creator of REBT based his ideas in part on Greek Stoic philosophy, which was geared to create happiness/contentment through emotional calm.

    Ellis discussed procastination in detail and wrote a book about it, if I recall correctly. I learned a lot and broke my own habit to put things off by learning this info.

    The quick explanation is that people who procastinate are irrational perfectionists. A perfectionist wants to achieve 100% and the pressure to do so can blow your energy out and you end up doing nothing, thus achieving failure. Of course, that makes you feel badly, and that's a huge blow for the perfectionist because it proves pathetic imperfection!

    The cure is to go for "excellence" which is doing the BEST job you can at the moment. Getting the job done at 80 or 90% is damn good and better than most people who aren't doing anything.

    Writing:

    I used to think writers were some kind of geniuses until I started talking to a favorite one online. He's very famous and I found out that he just writes off the top of his head, when I thought he had some planned out world building system. He does not edit his work but just submits it to the editor and he does not care what they do to it, and he has never read his own work. In other words, he has zero anxiety about his writing but just sits there and wildly creates! That broke my writing procastination further because I CAN DO THAT TOO, and it felt great.

    Also, I've read countless books in my time on Earth and many of them just sucked, like really, really sucked, but they got published and entertained people. I'm confident that I can write better than the suck level, which is a 60% "D level" effort. I can easily, in my mind, produce C to B level material and meet my goal of telling entertaining stories. So, I do not have to agonize about writing the "perfect sentence" on the first page, and never achieve it or any of my dreams.

    Hope some ideas there help you.
     
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  12. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Bloody hell you guys are useful! Even all of you with the "no sympathy" type responses, really a nice pin in the behind.


    Thanks and would love that link.
     
  13. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Wow I feel like a moron as I completely missed this post. That was beautiful, exactly what I needed. Thanks
     
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  14. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    That's great to hear!

    Being useful is like a drug to me.

    If you feel like it, look up Albert Ellis. He's fun to read and I actually got some training from the guy!
     
  15. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Ironic too, in my novel(another issue for another thread) I plan on painting human emotions and reasoning through my characters.

    The human brain is simply amazing.
     
  16. Sarah's Mom
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    Sarah's Mom Member

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    Jo Rowling had a great idea for a novel about a boy who finds out he's a wizard. Took her five years to start writing. Maybe you aren't writing because you aren't ready to write. You could write down the idea. Start some character sketches. Make a few notes about place and time. Look up a few references. There's a lot to working on a book that have little to do with actually writing the book.
     
  17. Mister Cheech
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    Mister Cheech Member

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    Promise yourself you'll write for eight hours a day?

    Post each chapter here or to a blog as soon as it done; or maybe just send to friends?
     
  18. C. B. Carter
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    C. B. Carter Member

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    Colorthemap – you just have to write.

    The best way (I think) to get started is to write anything, doesn’t matter if it will be used in the book you’re thinking of or not – writing is a craft and requires practice, so writing anything – just getting in the habit of transferring your thoughts from mind to laptop or journal – is never a waste. I wrote Project Northwest in a month and quite often I was stuck, not sure what the next line would be, I would then read a short news story and without re-referencing it, try to write a similar short news story with my own characters. Sure, that day I didn’t work on my book, but I practiced.
     

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