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Overcoming Procrastination

by Aaron Dennis 3 years ago in advice

Actually Writing Something

Overcoming Procrastination


I, uh...

Oh, I think Seinfeld reruns are on now.

I don’t have anything going on Thursday, so I’ll probably sit down and write something then. Of course, Thursdays are when I like to go jogging in the park, and after jogging I like eating Chinese food, which makes me sleepy.

I’ve jotted down a few things I want to write about, but I don’t want to sit at my computer since I only have like 30 minutes. I want to sit down when I have a good, solid four hours. That way, I can get some real work done.

I have a headache today….

I should probably take my wife out to a movie or something; I don’t want her thinking I’m taking her for granted.

Let’s be serious a moment, folks; life doesn’t always give us the time we need to do the things we need to do, right? Sometimes, there’s not a single free moment in a whole week, a whole month; it happens.

Many “writers” tell you that they — and so should you — write 2000 words a day every day.

That’s B.S. Writing 2000 words a day might work for someone who doesn’t have a day job, a family, medical issues, a life. Besides, what’s the point of writing 2000 words if 1999 of them are crap you rushed through just to get something done?

Look, writing every day can be great, if you have the time, but you may not have the time. Unfortunately, if you never make the time, you may go a week, two weeks, three months, and before you know it, a whole year without writing a single word.

That novel ain’t gonna’ write itself, ya’ heard?

Now, let’s be honest; if you had something to write, you’d be writing. You’d make that time. You’d take that 30 minutes and make something happen regardless of how little writing you actually pound out.

Sometimes, you just need to spend more time thinking about your story. Sometimes, you just need to take a minute and consider what kind of article you want to write. Maybe, you like writing reviews, but you just haven’t felt like making the effort to play a video game, watch a show, take in a movie, eat a meal at a new restaurant, and so you haven’t written a word. You might be in a slump, but “putting things off” isn’t the answer.

You might be a procrastinator. If you are, if you’ve always been slow to get started, let me point something out to you. You are going to die. It’s true. Take a look around you. There are no survivors on this Earth.

It’s grim. I know.

You might die from an aneurysm. You might get smacked by a train or fricasseed by lightning. However it may happen, it is going to happen, so let that light a fire under your ass. Whenever you’re feeling lazy, whenever you’re making excuses — and you when you’re making excuses— just think about the fact that today may be your last day on Earth, and whatever you’re doing might be the last thing you do.

If you’re still OK with procrastinating, there’s nothing else I can tell you, but if you’re just in a slump, if you’re just burned out, if you’re just feeling insecure about your writing, and you’re waiting, hoping, to be struck by the muses, I want to tell you that you can relax. You don’t need to write full-bore all day every single day, but if you’ve been schlumping for over a month, it’s probably time to budget your time.

Sit down and stare at that blank screen. Let that blinking cursor mock you. Take a deep breath and relax.

It happens to all of us, especially about this time of year. Right now, as of the month of November, everyone is getting ready for the holidays, and it is a most hectic time of the year. No sooner does October begin that you realize it’s Halloween. After Halloween, you get ready for Thanksgiving, and then Christmas or Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate, and then there’s the New Year, and the New Year’s Resolution.

Rather than choosing an arbitrary day in the future to put your ass in gear, my suggestion is very simple:

You know what time you have to wake up. You know what time you need to be in bed. You know how many hours you have throughout those two periods. Choose a time that you like — maybe right after waking, or maybe an hour before going to bed — and demand to be alone, away from the television, radio, family, dog, and everything else. Tell everyone around you that for one hour you are off limits. During that hour, think about what you want to write, and write it out while you’re thinking about it; at least you’ll be getting words down, which you can later edit.

You don’t have to kill yourself, and you don’t really have to take a whole hour everyday. Forty-five minutes three times a week might be sufficient; the point is to place yourself in a creative position absent distractions, and what little time you make for yourself will be sufficient for budgeting the rest of your day.

You may have to wake up 15 minutes early or get to bed 30 minutes late, but remember what I said: There are no survivors on this Earth, and if you want to be a writer, if you want to be an author, a novelist, a poet, you are going to have put in the work, time, effort, and energy. Nobody is going to do this for you.

Well…a ghost writer might do this for you, but it won’t be for free….

At any rate, don’t get discouraged. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Don’t quit because not writing is the only way you’ll fail. Now, I want you to check out How to Become a Successful Writer.

This manual brings to your fingertips all the practical knowledge required to build your long term writing career. Any writer of any level will benefit from the material within this comprehensive guide. From the neophyte to the professional, anyone who reads this book will learn everything from formulating an idea for a story, to practicing the art of the short story, to writing proper fanfiction, and writing an original novel.

This book not only teaches how to write, but also how to market, edit, publish, and all with exercises and even free resources. From start to finish, the ideas presented are done so in an easy to understand and entertaining fashion. By the end of this manual, you will not only know how to write, edit, publish, and market your book, but you’ll know what kind of publishing is right for you.

Why don’t publishing companies want you to know these secrets? Publishers run an exclusive good ole’ boy club, and in doing so, they choose who they help to succeed, and who they help to fail, but when you learn these secrets, you’ll know that no writer needs a publisher in today’s internet age. Bypassing a publishing company not only allows you to maintain control and earn the bulk of your income, but it relegates the old, dinosaur, publishing companies to obscurity.

This book is filled with tips designed to guide you through your writing career, so whether you’re a procrastinator, a workaholic, an aspiring writer, a novice, or a pro, it’s imperative you write something because writing a few hundred words, a paragraph, or even a simple sentence will spur you to write more and more. Writing doesn’t happen by itself; you have to make the time to write, and you have to make the time to write something about which you care. It doesn’t matter if you never publish everything you write. All that really matters is that you enjoy writing.

Consider that you’re in charge, that it’s important to take some time for yourself amidst the drudgery of life, and that there’s no reason to compare yourself to others. Figure out what’s right for you, what works for you, and then make it happen. You’re the only one who can truly stand in your way. I’m rooting for you.

Thanks for reading. Share with your friends, and if you’re feeling charitable, throw out a little donation.

Aaron Dennis
Aaron Dennis
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Aaron Dennis

Creator of the Lokians SciFi series, The Adventures of Larson and Garrett, The Dragon of Time series, and more.

See all posts by Aaron Dennis