1. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    Procrastinator....help!!!!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Daryl, Jan 22, 2012.

    hi there.. i am an aspiring short fiction writer...i have all these interesting and amazing ideas in my head..i jot a few of them down onto paper but i procrastinate ALOT when it comes to writing them..they seem so beautiful in my mind that i am scared that i wouldn't be able to do these ideas any justice when i write them....any ideas or excercises you guys thin k i could try to overcome this fear..thanks. :)
     
  2. Cosmic Latte
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    Cosmic Latte Member

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    Hi Daryl,
    .
    The easiest way to overcome procrastination is ... to just sit down and do it. I know - sounds easy but it can be harder than it sounds. Find a nice, quiet place where you can write undisturbed for, say ten minutes a day, every day (or the same certain days out of the week, such as on Mon/Wed/Sat). Ten minutes may not sound like a lot, but as you grow you can increase the time spent writing. Regularity helps build habit. For example, I like to write on my couch with my laptop. I work and go to school full-time, so frequently by the time I can get back to my writing I've accumulated a mental backlog of things to write, but because I mostly write in one spot I find it relatively easy to re-focus.
    .
    One of the first writing exercises I learned in middle school was to write about anything for ten minutes straight (hence the aforementioned advise on a ten minute writing time). This exercise has two parts:
    .
    In the first part, find an object and place it before you on your workspace. It could be a calendar, a photograph, your coffee cup - anything - and then write about it. Put down on paper (laptop?) whatever comes to mind, anything that comes to mind, even if it's not about your object because eventually, and with practice, your ten minutes spent will be about your object. Do not edit your work. Granted, you are not yet working on those amazing ideas that accumulate throughout the day; instead, this exercise will help you in translating a visual image into writing. To make this more interesting, try describing the same object over the course of a week from different perspectives (day 1: I am the coffee cup; day 2: The coffee cup sits before me; day 3: The mug was a gift - you get the idea).
    .
    Now that you've gained some confidence, drop the prop. The prop just adds structure. For part two, again sit down for ten minutes and write whatever comes to mind. The point is you had been learning how to translate a visual image into words ... and what else are thoughts but mental images? Do not edit and do not censor your writing. Get accustomed to shuffling those mental images down on paper first and then you can progress to organizing and editing those thoughts later.
    .
    And of course, this is just one of many possible exercises. Don't feel limited by doing just one type of exercise in your writing time. Set time aside to work on your writing ideas, too. The ten minute exercise might be a great lead-in to what you really want to work on, sort of like stretching before going jogging.
    .
    Best wishes,
    .
    Cosmic Latte
     
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  3. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    I'd definitely recommend that ten minutes of writing Cosmic Latte described- I just tried it myself and got a nice chunk of writing from it. What plagued me is this- I kept going back, when spell check gave me those cursed red lines underneath every other word, and I kept returning to other points to correct what I wrote. Well, typed. Regardless, don't correct yourself, just write the correction as if you were speaking it aloud. If you're doing this on paper, use a pen, and keep yourself from crossing anything out. It's about confidence, I think, and getting comfortable with the skill and tools at your disposal.

    It's sad, though. This is really the first time I heard, read or saw anything about this type of writing. No, wait, I remember doing this once, but we never returned to it. I'm out of practice as is, which is the basis of most procrastination, in my opinion. Getting into a habit of writing will work, and even when writing becomes second nature, just practicing the basics will get your mind used to the basic concepts- expressing what you sense, so that anyone else can see what you're trying to get across.
     
  4. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    As long as the ideas are only in your head, they cannot be enjoyed by other people [if that is your goal]. That should be enough incentive to sit down and write.
     
  5. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    oh wow..that ten minute drill seem really promising..i will definitely give it a try...i always figured if you not writing for an hour or more then you won't accomplish much..i think this would work fine cus i am honestly a bit out of practice...thanks for the advice guys...and yes JPGriffin those pesky red lines can be quite annoying...lolol..going to give this a try right now and see what i can come up with.. :)
     
  6. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    Music helps. Try to get in sync with the mood of the story (horror, romantic, suspense) by listening to appropriate (similar mood songs: numetal, soft rock, alternative respectively). And once you do that, think of how the story would proceed, how would the characters behave. That will surely provide you the much needed drive.
    But the most inportant point: DO NOT force yourself to write. You wouldnt do justice to your skills then.
    good luck!
     
  7. Cosmic Latte
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    Cosmic Latte Member

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    Hey Daryl,

    Tell us how it worked out. You know, you can try this without the computer, too. No red lines! :)

    And if you come up writing something you're really happy with, you can always go back and edit your ideas. Once you've given them a rough go-around on paper or in Word you can better see (literally) what you had been envisioning. This exercise also works as a brainstorming devise for starting essays & term papers.

    Cosmic Latte
     
  8. Baba Yaga
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    Baba Yaga Member

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    There's always write or die, if you need a little kamikaze inspiration.

    I like that 10 minute exercise though. 10 minutes just seems so... doable.
     
  9. Jared King
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    Jared King Member

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    One thing that wasn't mentioned yet is that when you are preparing to sit down and write, turn off your internet. Some people find it too easy to get distracted by the internet when they need to be writing, and turning it off can help solve that problem.
     
  10. Enzo03
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    Enzo03 Member

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    I need to try the 10 minute exercise myself. I've done similar things to it but I went right back into procrastination mode. Write or Die might also help me out as well. :)
     
  11. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    that ten minutes excdercise is pretty impressive folks..wow..who would hav thought..and turnin of that internet is a definite plus cus believe me it is easy to get distracted with it being on...i wold recommend this 10 minute drill to anyone..thanks alot guys
     
  12. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    A thread on procrastination, I'll have to read it sometime, and maybe post something, maybe later.:D
     
  13. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    how about you just write them, i don't think there are tips to overcome procrastination other than to write, turn of the internet, stop the music, kick the cat out, and write.
     
  14. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I procrastinate when I feel the inspiration has run out so I find myself waiting, hoping it'll come back. It never does. I find that the only way I get things done is just to sit my butt down and do it.
     

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