Thursday, July 29, 2010
Procrastination is the dreadful diet for writers
One of my readers asked me to write a blogpost on how to end the vicious circle of procrastination. So here are some tips that my mentor, poet and author Michael Mirolla gave me.
1. Set up a specific timeframe and schedule for doing things (writing, I'm assuming).
2. Set up a specific place for your writing.
3. Force yourself to sit down and write even if you don't think you have anything to say.
4. If you do find yourself blocked in the middle of a piece of writing, go to some other piece of writing or start something new.
5. Have all these elements in place for when the spirit moves you (that's one thing that you can't control as it can come on at any time).
6. If none of this works, then try breaking your routine completely: a walk, a movie, reading a book, listening to music -- whatever has inspired you in the past.
I'd like to add two more tips based on my personal experience:
1. Use writing prompts to warm up. The Writer's Digest has some good ones. Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to write a short story. You'll be amazed at the newly-found energy/inspiration: one that'll last for at least three days.
2. Join a small writing group or create one yourself. Ask 3 or 4 people to join you once or twice a month for a writing day. This has helped me and my writing group to get us in writing mode.
I would love to hear your comments on finding a cure for procrastination.
In the meantime, enjoy this youtube video courtesy of Lev Yilmaz: "Procrastination" Tales of Mere Existence