Please welcome my guest today, Marie Tuhart.
Hi Everyone, I'm so happy to be here at Terry's Place. I'm Marie Tuhart, and today my topic is about procrastination. Let's not be procrastinators, read the post now.
Why do we procrastinate?
Is it because the job itself seems too overwhelming? Or too hard? Or we don't know where to start? All of these are possible, and by procrastinating we cause ourselves to be stressed, feel guilty and we become less productive.
Causes of procrastination: Many times we underestimate or overestimate the task itself. Perfectionism can cause procrastination. Feeling too busy. Being told you're lazy or the fear of failure are also common.
Each times we let ourselves procrastinate; we reinforce the ability to do it. So I'm going to give you some tips to help you not to fall into the procrastination trap.
A common myth around writing is you have to have large chunks of time to write. This is untrue. What I've learned to do is to write in smaller chunks of time. I write for 30 minutes while dinner is cooking in the over, the 15 minutes I'm waiting in the doctor's office, during my lunch hour at work, during commercials of a T.V. show. Writing in these smaller chunks of time showed me I could make progress.
Try it, you'll be amazed not only how much you can accomplish, but your productivity will go up.
If the project feels too big and you're feeling overwhelmed by the task, again break it down into smaller chunks. I've done this while tackling cleaning out my basement (that hadn't been cleaned in about 20 years) to my writing.
I used to have a daily goal that I would write so many pages in a day, and each day I kept losing ground. To me the amount of pages wasn't all the big, usually 5-10 pages per day, but I found most days I fought against writing. Finally I stopped with the page count and started to use a word count. I started off with 1,500 words a day, that's roughly 5 pages.
Once I did that, I'd write at least 1,500 words a day, and most days I'd write even more. I had a mental block on writing pages, but if I broke it down into words, I was able to accept that better.
Break it down into what every works for you, you can say I'll write a scene, or I'll do the character sketch today, whatever. They key is to write.
For myself, the more I write, the more I want to write, and my productivity has increased because of that.
Other tricks you can use:
Talk with your writing group/critique group about why you're having problems writing. It could be the project itself and you might want to try something else. Often others can see what we can't.
Turn off the computer screen; you can't see what you've written so you're less likely to hit the delete key. While you might have some creative typos, it's amazing how it frees to just type without worrying about the blank page.
Figure out where your time goes. Track what you're doing every day, for at least a week, and I mean everything. This will show you where your time is going, where there gaps in your schedule and even show you where you can dedicate some time to writing.
Be realistic about the how long a writing project will take you. If you're writing 120,000 word historical novel, you work full-time, have a spouse, two kids, a dog and fish and you've only given yourself a month to write this book, that isn't realistic – unless you can go without sleep for an entire month.
This is where breaking down the project comes in handy; you can break it down into how many words you need to do a day to have the project finished in a certain amount of time. But it has to be realistic time frame.
You can break out of the procrastination habit, you may not totally conquer it, as it does creep back from time to time, but you'll be able to starve it off longer and longer.
Marie Tuhart writes contemporary erotic romance. Her first book In Plain Sight is available from The Wild Rose Press. You can find out more about Marie and her writing at her website: www.marietuhart.com or visit her blog: www.escapetoaneroticfantasy.blogspot.com