31 January 2012

Losing Procrastination

As Walt Disney once said, "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." So how do you stop procrastinating? Quit talking and begin doing. It's actually really simple, though a hard habit to break at times.

I am a procrastinator. In fact, I'm procrastinating even now. While I should be writing a chapter of my current novel, I'm instead writing about losing procrastination. Irony is a great friend of mine. Still, I am waging a battle against my procrastination and it is helping, in small ways.

Some simple ways to stop procrastinating with your writing include setting a specific time daily to write, planning ahead, rewarding yourself for reaching certain points, and simply starting.

Start today. In fact, start right now. Don't even finish reading this post. Create a goal right this second to write at a certain time every day for a week, month, or year. Make it specific and doable. Write it down and post it up somewhere you'll see it. Then make sure to come back here.

Is your goal set? No? Now's your chance to stop procrastinating. Do it now. Is is done? Good. Doesn't that feel great? Now that you have that goal, follow through. Keep it. When that time shows up on the clock today (and hopefully you set it for sometime later today), set everything aside and write immediately. 

Now that you know when you're going to write, figure out what you're going to write. Some may say, including myself, that they simply don't know where to start. Here's a trick to solve that dilemma: the first day, write anything - plan a character, create a setting, write down that random idea that has been haunting you for a month, anything. At the conclusion of your writing for the day, make a plan of what you are going to write the following day. If you outlined something, maybe your goal is to write whatever you outlined. If you created a character, plan to start plotting about what will happen to that character in your next piece of work. Make of note of what you plan to write. Post that note somewhere you'll see it when you go to write the next day. When you sit down to write, instead of looking blankly at your computer screen without a blue and spending fifteen minutes of your writing time trying to figure out where you were, simply take a glance at that note and set off.

Now that you have all of this set up, how do you keep with it? Easy. Set a reward. Make it good, something you really want. Once you've written everyday at your set time for two weeks in a row, or another set time period, give yourself a reward. If you don't make your goal, DON'T REWARD YOURSELF. Keep trying. It will push you to make that goal and gain that reward.

Remember, losing procrastination equals starting immediately. Don't plan to start tomorrow. Do it now.

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