A.K.A. Working through Procrastination.
Many times I fall into a couple forms of procrastination
- Cleaning, texting, daydreaming, reading, etc… (these may be productive, but will not get my novels written).
- Looking up clips from favorite shows, listening to some of my favorite music, and/or looking up quotes from favorite novels. I do this to help me get my muse going, but more often than not it leads to rabbit trails of distraction.
Those two observations seem obvious right? Well they are two of several traps I fall into when I should be taking time to write. Most often what happens is I’m tired from work and want to relax a bit before working very hard on stories. To be honest, more often than not the social media I rely on to get my name out there – as great as they are – often distract me as well.
Now, I have no idea if you have some of the same struggles or if yours manifest differently, but here are some of the things I’ve learned.
- Self Discipline – The tricks I have learned won’t work unless I make myself do them.
- Full Screen Mode – The writing software I use (Scrivener) has a mode where the only thing I can see on my computer screen is the part of the document I am working on.
- Pen and Paper – This has been my favorite of late. You can’t access Twitter from a piece of paper (at least not yet, I assume something crazy like this will one day be invented to our detriment). And, as I discussed in a previous post, there are advantages to writing stories out in longhand.
- Lyricless Music – Music without words coupled with sound proofing ear buds help me isolate myself from the world and the worries of it. This gives me a clearer focus while writing, especially when I don’t have the lyrics to listen to as an added distraction. Besides soundtracks, I really like listening to piano music.
- A Plan – If I use a planner to write out what I want to get done in the course of the day, I am far more successful at it than when I am not writing it down. (I personally use a bullet journal, an example of which can be found here).
- A List – I learned a while ago that if you want to focus, write down your stray thoughts on a pad of paper next to you. It releases your mind from worrying about it and helps you focus on the tasks at hand (other advantages can be found in this article).
- Rewards – Though I do this less than I should. Giving myself a reward for finishing my daily goals and larger rewards for larger projects has been useful.
Hope this is helpful! Time for me to get back to work myself.