1. Lillias
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    Lillias Member

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    The Procrastination Bug Has Bit me

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lillias, Jun 14, 2008.

    Every time I try to write , I can only write a few sentences , and then I'm like well I'll do it tomorrow. Then a few *days* later I actually try writing again.
    I'll never get anything finished if I keep doing this. It's a terrible habit.
    How do I stop procrastinating and avoiding writing?
     
  2. LibbyAnn
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    LibbyAnn Contributing Member

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    Adopt the Nike slogan and "Just do it!" :) Set a time limit and sit down and write anything (even if it's horrible) for thirty minutes, an hour - whatever your time limit is. Don't allow yourself to make excuses.

    Procrastination is definitely a bad habit, but it can be broken if you're disciplined.
     
  3. Vicki
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    Vicki New Member

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    Hi! I wouldn't even force myself to write for that long! If 5 or 10 minutes is all you can face then aim for 5 minutes! When the time is up you can carry on if the urge takes you :)
     
  4. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    I am guilty of this too! I find if i sit with whatever i am currently writing on the desktop I'm temped to just go back to it.
     
  5. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    This is something that I struggle with a lot too. I've actually be doing pretty well over the last... well, four days. So here's my method, which is not exactly time-tested, but you've got to start somewhere!

    In the mornings I review. I've managed to review one story a day on the boards so far, and I'm going to try to keep that up. It puts me in a good frame of mind first thing, and reminds me that no matter what my day job is, I'm really a writer.

    At lunch I read. This is easy, I've been doing it all along.

    In the evening I either write or revise. I try to do this before I go anywhere for the evening, but after I've had a nice break from work. Five minutes, ten minutes, whatever. Set an alarm if you have to keep yourself working.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.
     
  6. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    My best tips are:
    - Read lots of books on writing to inspire and motivate you
    - Set yourself a realistic target based on WORD COUNT rather than time - say, 500 words. Make the word count higher and higher every three times you complete it.
    - If you write for 5 minutes, take a 5 minute break and then come back and write for another five minutes.
    - Switch off the Internet while you're writing.
     
  7. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    Great tips, especially the word count and internet ones.
     
  8. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    I find this works for me also :) I have the chapter i'm currently working on open all the time, that way i can keep coming back to it.

    I'm not so sure writing intensively, unless you're doing it because you've had a particularly intense inspiration, is neccesarily that natural anyway.

    OT: It's also worth spending time thinking about the structure of your story and plot ideas. That way, when you do sit down and write, you're working to an existing framework, rather than trying to conjour stuff out of thin air.
     
  9. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    The only thing you can really do is just sit and do it. If you're telling yourself so often that you'll just do it "tomorrow," it sounds like you don't really want to write at all. If that's so, then why not just stop, at least for a while? In the off time you can take some of the other suggestions such as reading something inspiring, reviewing someone else's work, etc., to see if you really still want to write. Even calling this a "bug" seems like an excuse to not write, so maybe you want to take a hard look at what exactly is making you not want to write right now. Is there a problem with the story?--with your writing style or ability?--anything that would make your current project not work out? My own writing has derailed at times when there was some sort of underlying problem I wasn't aware of, and only stopping to take a hard look and figure it out could get me working again.

    If you're really serious about wanting to write, then you'll have to stop making the excuse that you'll do it later, because then you never will. Sitting and making yourself do it is the only way. I second the idea of settling on a word count rather than a time limit because one can always sit for two hours and write just a sentence, and spend the rest of that time period sitting and procrastinating. With a word count, you might be sitting and writing for an hour, you might be doing it all day--but at least your output will be consistent and worthwhile.

    And yes, doing this writing away from the Internet is always a good idea. It's a huge distraction.
     
  10. Lillias
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    Lillias Member

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    I think that one of my major problems is the way that my writing comes out.
    When I write I do not edit my words, they come out unpolished. So when I write I am very embarrassed (I guess that is the word) at what I am writing. Therefore , procrastination.
     
  11. Amarantha
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    Amarantha Member

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    That's basically the same problem I have. When I hit a brick wall, I write "Ignore style!" or "First drafts always suck!" at the top of the page or in the margin. Then, I just write whatever comes to mind with the expectation that it will be terrible. Even if you're ashamed over what it starts out as, you know in your head that the "unpolished" words are standing for something better. Once you get something down on paper- even just a short chapter- you can go back and fix it to your liking. Trust me, it's a heck of a lot easier to fix something hideous than something that's not even on the page yet.
     

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