Tried and True Writing Tips from a Procrastination Junkie (with Cats!)

A sneaky, little monster

Procrastinating: It’s fun. It’s easy. And it is Hell on a person’s productivity.

Yes, writing is my chosen profession. As my writing group knows, I make tens of dollars at this thing, and I love every minute of it. So why do I put off doing this thing that I love?

I dunno. Maybe it’s fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of work. Fear of what I might learn about myself as I tell the stories my brain needs to tell.

This time last year, I was using school as procrastination. This year, I’ve been using just about everything else in my life to try to put off working on my writing.

cute cat in a gift bag
It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping.

Excuses are like butts…

Time for polishing short stories to submit? Um, I think I forgot to wash the dishes.

Ready for a word sprint? Oops, I need to tackle that TBR Pile Challenge.

Done outlining and time to start the actual writing for NaNoWriMo? I need to watch the episodes of a few series I’ve been putting off, scoop the litter box, then scrub the bathtub.

Despite all my floundering, I must keep fighting, even as I know that procrastination is a foe that I will likely never conquer. (In fact, I’m supposed to be working on NaNoWriMo RIGHT NOW.)

cute gray cat with notebook and pencil
Research is important to writing, especially when you’re in the middle of a word sprint.

Stop procrastination in its tracks

There are dozens upon hundreds of tips out there for fighting procrastination, but I only know of a few that are proven:

  1. Set your mind to your task.
  2. Turn off the internet, television, and your phone.
  3. Close yourself off in an empty room.
  4. Set a timer and promise yourself you only have to work for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Something doable.
  5. WORK!
white cat in a black hat on a leash
What? It’s called ‘getting into character.’

It’s up to you

I know, these have all been said before. But how many of us actually learn something the first time we hear or read it? Sometimes we have to beat ourselves (and our dear readers) over the head before something sticks.

As for me, I’m headed off to my local writing group’s IRC chatroom for some word wars… even if I have to do them by myself.

Wishing you a personal NaNoWriMo best!

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