Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alan Aspie, Mar 7, 2019.
I'll tell her that
If you want to be a writer, then write.
Real words do exist.
That is quite similar as my point:
In the beginning you might need rigid structure. Later more flexible formula is enough. Still later you do ok with loose guidelines. And when you master what you do, you just do things in your own style.
There is a path from rigid executing to stylish art. It goes via formula and guidelines.
I'm interested to hear has anyone tried pomodore techique to win procrastination?
Or is anyone interested to try it while fighting procrastination?
(If procrastination is a problem to you and you don't know what I'm talking about, I suggest to Google and Tube it.)
I had to google that but feel like I've been doing it forever, subconsciously!
Twenty-five minutes - make a coffee, another twenty-five- walk about and stretch etc.
My attention span needs little breaks or I get bored and frustrated with whatever I'm doing, regardless of what that is. Even if I'm 'in the zone' I tend to take short breaks.
Does it work? Am I more productive? I don't really know, but it certainly helps keeps me sane.
I think that's how my husband gets things done. He's always taking wee breaks. That is something I can't do, because then I lose momentum. Me? I dive in, get started—and don't quit till it's done or somebody (or something) MAKES me quit.
My procrastination happens before I start. I can often find other things to do ...instead. But once I'm in there, I'm in till the grim end. (With toilet breaks....)
If I had a timer going, it would actually slow me down. I'd think ...hey, I've only got 3 more minutes. I won't start that next bit till afterwards. In other words, I'd be clock-watching.
I didn't google it. I'm not sure why you didn't just give us a quick rundown of what it is, but I don't really think there is too much advice you can really give a procrastinator. You've just got to want it bad enough to do it. I think that's how it is with everything. Writing takes a tremendous amount of dedication and discipline. But it should also be something you want and something you really want to do. Sure, we all procrastinate at times. But if you have the time to google procrastination and tips to avoid it, isn't that in itself procreating?
I think it helps best when building a habit, or if you're specifically struggling with attention. I used pomodore in school to study and when I had an office job. They were effective for that, when I was doing something I had no motivation to do. Haven't used it for writing. It would frustrate me to be interrupted when I'm "in the zone".
I may have to look into it as of now the minute I start something I look for a reason to quit.
Do we really need to read up on techniques for how to not procrastinate? The sounds like procrastination. I rather read other things. Writers write and anyone who want to do it can. It's really that simple.
That's exactly it. If writing is important to you, you are going to do it. Far too many people like the idea of being a writer more than they actually want to be a writer. If you want to write, you're going to wake up and it will be the first thing you want to do. It will be the thing you can't wait to get started on. It will be the thing you look forward to all the time. Writers write. Everything else is just making excuses for not being a writer.
That's a harsh and inaccurate assessment in my opinion. It can be difficult to build a habit, stay disciplined, and train our brain to do something it may not be used to doing. Everyone has that issue and some more than others. There are known tactics that help a person down that path. Pomodore is a way to help people having concentration issues and feeling overwhelmed by it. Looking down the barrel of six hours of studying is overwhelming and can lead to giving up before you start. Telling yourself you only have to study for twenty minutes, then earn a five minute break makes a large task seem more surmountable.
It's a very nice idea to think that if someone really wants something they will do it, but that isn't always accurate. There are other factors that can make it difficult.
This is a harsh business. Publishers and editors don't care about your feelings. It's all about the finished product. The level of competition is insane and the amount of rejections any writer is likely to receive is also insane. If you have to find ways to make yourself want to write, why do you really want to write? Harsh or not it's true. Writers write. You can't really argue that.
Not me. I can't wait to go to my restaurant and greet my friendly staff and serve food to all the wonderful people of Providence!
(shoot me in the fucking balls, please... but not hard enough to kill me... just enough to make me impotent and have to piss through a tube for the rest of my life... that would be groovy)
It's inaccurate to claim that pure will power gets things done. I've struggled a lot despite will. Things are just not easy for everyone. The only way I'm writing every day right now is because I took the time to figure out how to successfully build a habit. I tried things out, I looked up information, I read several books. Some people need to learn these things because it doesn't come naturally.
Try and look at it from a different way. Weight loss. I'm not sure if you have any familiarity with those communities but it's well known that will power fails you at some point. Motivation eventually slips away and the only thing that keeps you on track is learned tools for success. Tactics, discipline, making it a habit, etc. The ones relying on will and motivation fail time and time again.
lets not have an argument about procrastination folks ... moderating it will be just one more thing to do instead of writing my wip
Creative people find it often hard to focus in one task and one task only. In that kind of situation some kind of workflow management techniques might be essential.
Creative spheres are also filled with less creative but more industrious people who can get a lot done, but nothing of that is really original or is original by someone else. They don't need workflow management techniques. They could need techniques for creative and original thinking.
To get original creative work done, you need both extremities: to be able to work without inner control and to be able to work with strict inner control. And this is rare. And even if you have it, you need techniques to guide it.
The false claim about willpower getting things done is called willpower trap. It can be very destructive thing to a creative process and creative people. (It does not harm less creative people as easily because there are no processes to be harmed.)
If someone takes published stories, vary them a bit and publish them as his/her own "creative" production.. Then willpower is almost enough because there is no need for original creative process.
Studying even a bit how mind, creativity and society works can help a lot in finding techniques which help. There is no attitudes or techniques which suit for everybody. Creative ADHD person might need totally different techniques than less creative but more industrious person.
Pomodoro is not my thing, but I thought that hinting about it might open some thinking processes to someone else.
We can control our acts by taking control of things that control us. If too much focus controls and stops our creativity, it's helpful to control control. If too little focus controls our ability to be more industrious, it might be helpful to control that.
Pure willpower does get things done, but never creative processes, only processes which lack creativity.
Something else about procrastination.
So much to like in this particular post, Alan. I agree. It's like that idea, which is popular with some, that if you chain yourself to your writing desk and write every day that you will eventually produce good work. You'll certainly produce words, but that's not the whole of the enterprise. Me? I need to be enthusiastic and energised and inspired before I produce creative work I'm proud of. Then it seems worthwhile.
That is one variation of willpower trap.
For less or even noncreative people it is often impossible to understand that ways to increase industriousness are not useful but harmful if you want to increase creative industriousness.
My current technique is my own variation of slow multitasking. And I'm developing it every day.
I store everything worth storing my mind produces. In the process of storing it I try to compress it to it's core. Then I let these core ideas - seeds - to sprout on they own while I do something else.
If some seeds ask for my attention, I give it to them. And then I come back to my WIP. This returning takes care that WIP goes forward.
You could say that widening my focus is my way to concentrate my focus. I let my focus lead me but I always take me back to the main project. And I think that this helps doing main projects better and faster. And next projects develop in the background.
I somehow got pompadour mixed up with pomodore in my head and it certainly led to some interesting ideas about fixing procrastination....
Many forumites talk about their goals.
But threads about how to achieve those goals tend to turn to talking about systems and attitudes which helps to go to the direction of those goals.
Goal... "Where to..."
System... "How can I go there or somewhere better?"
Goal... Hard to get it. So I slice it to sub goals. And... And that starts to sound like a system.
I would like to hear have you thought about this? Do you have a system of your own? How does it work? What is hard or impossible with that system? What goes well? How does your system work with your mundane life?
As an example...
1. Read about writing, thinking, selling, influencing, emotions... Read books which help you to write better and get your manuscripts read.
2. Write projects as much as feels good. Write every day if possible.
3. Watch tube videos about things which help you develop. Writing, thinking, social life, emotions, psychology, social psychology... Everything useful.
4. Build some social networks but not in opportunistic way. Be open and honest in this.
5. Share what you have learned. Pay attention to where, when and how.
6. Take care of the versatility of your learning.
7. Write your projects as fast as you can and make them as good as you can. Then they are adults and start their own life. Don't pamper them then. If you cant rewrite your first draft soon, let it brew and start another project.
8. Let your ideas develop in the background.
9. Pay very, very much attention to self reflection. Do it in very wide range - skills, workflow, values, emotions, personal history, social relationships, self valuation methods (meta level) and tools... Fine tune your self reflection toosl
10. Develop and use your stress management tools. When stressed, deal with it before trying to do other things under stress.
11. Adapt when needed.
12. Remember that even if you succeed, it happens with a delay. Think that you can't benefit of todays work now. If you do, it happens two years later. Try to make good things pile in the future. Make delayed gratification your friend.
In pretty much everything in life, I tend to have systems more than goals. Rationally, I know it's not very good, but I have the kind of brain that gets enjoyment out of systems. It's relatively recently that I've become fully aware of that tendency and learned to avoid excessive striving to having systems in everything.
As to writing, the basis of all is I start with the structure and gradually fill it up with scenes. (It was only today that I learned that the system is well known and widely used and called "Snowflake method".) That's the only way I can write. It's extremely rare that I can start writing actual text from the beginning and go on writing in correct sequence until the end.
Another part of my system is that when I'm stuck with a scene, then I write at least something. Even if I find myself able to transform only a few of the ideas or keywords into text, I do that and then I stop squeezing blood from a stone and go to another scene. Ideas for that difficult scene will come to me eventually, such as while brushing my teeth the next morning or trying to concentrate on that translation job whose deadline is approaching. ;-)
The rest of my writing system is basically chaos.
In the past, I had a system how to divide my energy between several projects in a most rational way, but I found I wasn't too happy with it. Now I focus on one novel and write other things only when I happen to think of a very good idea.
This is another technique: Do until you have done it.
I'll let you know tomorrow.
Separate names with a comma.