Procrastination: a Writer’s How-To Guide
While there is nothing novelists like better than just buckling down to write for hours on end, it can be avoided.
First, tackle other writing-related tasks that make you feel like you’re actually working. Good examples include writing a new blog entry, entering contests using what you’ve already written, rereading what you’ve already written and thinking about how you’ve been neglecting poetry while working on your novel. You might even get a new poem out of it! Just remember, poems can’t be churned out like novel pages. You must wait for inspiration.
Second, realize that the rest of your life is VERY important. Work is demanding, your family needs you, church projects are waiting to be tackled and you haven’t baked cookies in such a long time. What are you thinking, going through life without fresh-baked cookies? What kind of mother/wife/daughter/friend are you?
Third–read. This is the best way to put off writing. Admire how other writers craft their novels so perfectly. Or better yet, notice what crap is being published these days, knowing you can do so much better if someone will just pay attention. Read for research so you know what’s selling in your genre. Read other genres in case you ever switch. Read trashy books to give yourself a “break.” Read blogs and how-to books and magazine articles. Research and education can consume you quite easily. You will know so much. Think about how you will apply it all one of these days.
Finally, decide to take a break from writing. You’ll be much fresher and more creative when you start back. One of these days.
“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” -Mary Heaton Vorse