Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How I Beat Procrastination. (More Tomorrow)

Since "Gathering Darkness" has come out, I've been dividing my usual writing time in equal measure to two things:

1) Talking about the book and trying to get some additional sales, interest, "buzz" etc.
2) Not writing.

I'm not talking about that portion of my off time that is needfully being used for a few other "life related" issues - those'll always come up and you've got to do what you've got to do. Neither am I really talking about the weekends, as those two days are more or less spent from dawn to dusk with my family (and rightfully so.)

No, what I'm referring to are those remaining hours that are the time equivalent of "disposable income". When you've done the dishes, vacuumed up the crayons and legos, sworn at yourself for vacuuming up legos, etc. There might be two or three hours left over for "other" - that is usually where the writing happens.

In large part because I've been doing so much reading recently about writer's craft, and the need to write daily, I've been trying to kick myself into gear. 

I did two things:

1) Registered in a writer's shootout. This is a friendly contest among 18 writers who are given a prompt on a Saturday, then given a week to come up with a finished story on it. The next week is spent in reviewing everyone's work. The following week is a new story. Etc. I've done two of these before, and it's always gotten me moving. This time was no exception.

But what I really needed was the second thing:

I can't seem to start a new story on the computer anymore, at least right now. I've tried disabling the internet, but that's just a temporary solution. As long as the entire world is one click away, it's incredibly difficult to get moving.

So - computer goes out of the equation, and writing starts happening. For some reason, I don't have the same distraction level when I'm simply transcribing from notes, so it doesn't bother me to do things this way. It also gives me a chance to do a first edit on the fly.

Proof of hypothesis: 7,000 words in three days.

Take THAT procrastin... ooh -- new Tweet...


  1. I hear you. Real life really takes over sometimes.

    I find the best way to get a story started is by writing it out long hand. I think better that way. Seems you do too. :)

    My real life has encraoched on my writing and blogging time, but once i get back at it, I will be giving Gathering Darkness a big shout out.

  2. I'm a fan of different productivity techniques. I'm doing pomodoro, at the moment. I've got the tomato timer and everything. It's great. Just time for another 25 mins before I get ready to go and watch the Olympic torch.

  3. Thanks Laurita - it's that "starting" moment, isn't it? Once you can finally overcome the creative inertia and get moving, it's easy to remember why you like writing. So yeah- for the near future anyway, my dollar-store is going to love me. (Because that's where I buy my notebooks.)

    Deborah - you intrigued me enough to Google "Pomodoro" - it seems like something I might like to try at some point. I also haven't gone back to "Write or Die" in a bit... might be worth downloading the app so I can do it without a web "tab" open!