Ugh, I hate it when you’re avoiding doing what you want to be doing. Right?
First of all, procrastination makes no sense. Sure, if it’s something you don’t want to be doing, I understand. But I want to be writing; I want to tell my character’s stories. So why can’t I – and why can’t you?
- Can’t be arsed. Basically, what it says on the tin. When you’ve had a long day, and you just don’t want to.
- Written yourself into a plot hole. Those little plot bunnies burrow their way into your work and then undermine all your lovely plans. They’re terrible, I know.
- Something else is distracting you. A looming deadline, screaming kids, the moon being too bright. The usual.
- You don’t want to do it. Is it an article that you’ve been putting off because the subject makes you yawn?
- The deadline is looming. Funnily enough, I work brilliantly under pressure – just ask my GCSE grades. But some people – most people, probably – don’t. Like, at all. And when a deadline is coming up, especially if you know this could make or break your career, it just seems to oddly give you more of a reason to avoid it.
Procrastination affects most people in their lives. Be it for a college application, picking the kids up from school (writing, kids, writing, kids…) or even going to bed, it’s there.
So, what can you do about procrastination?
- Make yourself be bothered. I normally devise a punishment for myself if I don’t do it. I want to lose weight this year, and if I don’t hit my goal, I’m having a cold shower. May I remind you that by this time it will be December and our house freezes.
- Look back over stuff you’ve written, and see if you can figure yourself out of what ever hole you’ve written yourself into. Maybe you forgot something and it made you take a completely different path to the one you had thought out. Sure, it may mean you have a rewrite a lot of it, but it’s better than finishing and your manuscript being a mess.
- Get rid of distractions. Some people tidy their rooms if their procrastinating. Tidy them before you try to start work. Hell, lock yourself in a box (without WiFi, phones or a book) and make yourself write.
- If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it (NOTE: this doesn’t apply to homework). Also note that this applies only if you don’t need the money… That article you don’t want to do? Don’t do it! If you have to, then yes, by all means, do it. But if you really really don’t want to do it, it’s making you miserable and you just can’t even bare thinking about it…don’t do it.
- If you can, move the deadline to a later period. If you can’t, get your butt into gear. Sometimes, you just have to give up and do it. I want to start writing in 10 minutes, working on my novella – hence, I’ve got my butt into gear and written this article!
Remember, writing is supposed to be fun. Have fun with doing it. If it’s making you unhappy, get yourself another hobby (if it’s your job, find a new job!).
But just because I’ve said that doesn’t mean that some days you just don’t want to write. And that’s okay.
Procrastination is basically just an annoying kitten that won’t leave you alone. Sometimes you just have to give it some attention and play along before it goes off to sleep.
Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀
PS Sorry this post may be a bit scattered. I’m tired, all right?! 😛