There is Always a Reason NOT to Start Writing

The excuses we make: procrastination, bargaining and other disorders

For years, I have been collecting ideas that would lend themselves to stories at some future date. I used to write more poetry than anything and convinced myself I needed to go back to school to learn the tools of prose.

The stories grew in quantity and quality. Still I listened to others with well meaning opinions, “Stick to Poetry.” The first time I started to write a story it was long and clumsy. I used too many words and pondered too long on every detail.

I read other writers and their essays which seemed so full of thought. I hung on every word because there was meat, a satisfying nourishment that weaved throughout the work.

First I learned to shorten my paragraphs, to lessen the use of words and concentrate on sharpening the meaning. As the muscle improved, I began to weave meaning that would connect from one paragraph to another.

The structure of the paragraph began to make sense. I had developed a vehicle that could convey the story that was only an inanimate block on a page. My stories suddenly had legs.

All those years of excuses and procrastination suddenly dissolved the doubts that kept me from writing, from taking my own voice seriously.

Doubt allows us to do nothing. It teaches us to write things down for later. So many dust covered pages hide stories that will one day find a voice and get a breath of life.

Writing is that amazing world we envision come to life as we overcome our fear and doubt. Write until the muscle grows and write until you know how. It’s amazing what the future holds for someone who believes in themselves and writing. Start now.


This post is contributed as Guest post by Steven Linebaugh.


He is a creative and nature is his muse. His words are from his experiences in nature and the stories of depression and self awareness. His poetry has slowly mutated into prose and the future is open.
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Why Do Writers Write?

One famous writer, whose name I no longer remember, once asked to have written on his tombstone, the simple legend, “He wrote only to be read.”

After a recent talk I gave on writing, some people waited behind to speak with me. One of them jokingly remarked, “What do you do with all the money you’re earning?” That is a question I have been asked more than once. There are some writers, I know, who write with the hope of making money — a vain enterprise — but the great majority of writers are concerned more about finding readers. One famous writer, whose name I no longer remember, once asked to have written on his tombstone, the simple legend, “He wrote only to be read.” Money was for him neither an issue nor an objective.

Reflecting further on this, I have come to the realisation that recognition, or fame perhaps, is little more a motivating factor to the truly committed writer than is money. So what drives the urge? I believe that the answer is twofold. There is simply the creative spirit that desires to bring into being something original, and there is the creative ego that yearns to share that creation. Most writers would confess, if they’re honest, to a secret wish to stand at the shoulders of everyone reading their work, to watch their every facial expression, to decipher their every reaction, and hopefully, to win appreciation, even praise, for their brainchild. So, while writing may appear initially to be a fire in the belly that must need find expression, ultimately it cannot be an end in itself. The creative ego is a hungry beast.

Guest post by Author Brian O’Hare

Most Effective Ways to Overcome Your Writing Problem

You have to believe in yourself, take your writing tasks seriously and follow the tips listed here to eliminate your writing challenges.

Writers face diverse challenges. Sometimes, these challenges may not surface letting you write as much as you can. But other times, they just stir at you in the face, keeping you from writing something meaningful.

Things like the fear of failure, writer’s block, procrastination and loss of ideas are some of the challenges writers face. You will feel helpless and frustrated. Many writers also seek expository essay help to fix their writing tasks.

There are ways you can overcome any problem that is preventing you from writing. Some of us have been in this horrible situation before, so it is a pleasure to help you solve yours.

Below are ways you can overcome those problems you are facing as a writer. Read on to learn more.

  1. Identifying the problem

Identifying that there is a problem is the first step to solving it. When you feel the urge to write but can’t even form a sentence, know there is a problem.

You need to find out what is creating the problem for you. Are too tired to write? Are you going through emotional challenges? Are you sick or hungry? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself.

If tiredness from stress is the cause of the problem, all you need to do is get better sleep or rest for a while. If the problem is emotional, get it off of your head as soon as possible.

  1. Get all ideas together

You need ideas to write. In fact, the quality of what you write depends on the ideas you conceived. We often make the mistake of discarding ideas when we feel they are bad. No idea of yours should be labelled as bad when you are still in the brainstorming process.

Get all ideas you have generated together even if you think some are not relevant. You will find out which one of them is relevant when you start writing.

Before you start writing, have a brief brainstorming session. Write down any idea that comes to your mind create bullet points for all your thoughts or ideas so you can get back to them easily. After finishing the brainstorming session, rest for a while and come back to review each idea you have generated to find out which one fits the topic you are writing on.

  1. Deal with Procrastination

The root cause of most of our problems as writers is procrastination. Remember the last time you made plans to finish a particular task but ended up postponing till it was close to the deadline.

Writing under pressure isn’t good for you as a writer. And it happens when you don’t manage time properly. You’ll find yourself racing to meet the given deadline without considering the quality of what you’re writing.

Procrastination is a serious problem that any writer looking to succeed must fight to a standstill. Let’s look at ways to overcome it.

Tips#

  • Make detailed schedule for the writing task
  • In the schedule, write down the deadline you will be completing the rough draft, revision and proofreading.
  • Agree on a deadline to publish the book or whatever you are writing.
  • Have some break so you can come back with a fresh mind and perspective to complete the job.
  1. Build Your Confidence

Fear is one the problems writers face. Fear of work being rejected or criticized, fear of not presenting a book that is up to expectation.

You need to build your confidence as a writer. If you have confidence in yourself, it will reflect in your writing. Remember that the only achievement you can get from being afraid is making regrettable and avoidable mistakes. Fear breeds mistakes. If you don’t trust whatever you are writing, then don’t expect others to.

Once you have already accepted that you are going to fail, there is a high possibility it is going to happen. The following tips will help in this scenario.

Tips#

  • Believe in yourself and show positive attitude
  • Get a close friend to review your book or writing. From the review, you will know the area you need to work on and what you need to do.

These are some of the most effective ways you can get rid of your writing problem and become that author you have always wanted. These problems are the limiting factors, preventing you from moving further. You have to believe in yourself, take your writing tasks seriously and follow the tips listed here to eliminate your writing challenges. Once you are able to get rid of your writing problems, you will achieve more as a writer.

This post is contributed as Guest Post by Mia Stokes.

Six ways you can stop procrastinating – and start getting writing done

Procrastination was called the ‘thief of time’ more than 300 years ago by the English poet Edward Young. Here are six steps to help combat procrastination.

Writer’s block just could be something else?

Six ways you can stop procrastinating – and start getting writing done

Procrastination was called the ‘thief of time’ more than 300 years ago by the English poet Edward Young.

While procrastination may or may not be the thief of time, it will certainly steal your peace of mind.

Putting things off requires mental and emotional energy.  Most who procrastinate are not at all lazy, they just shift emphasis to different things for different reasons.

When we are writing, is it possibly because we have made the task is too difficult, time-consuming, not your favourite part or just your mind playing tricks.

Why do we do it when it eats up peace of mind and vitality? Putting things off is just that – it’s just delaying action, and the more you do it the more there is to keep track of and worry about.

Already you are wasting time and energy and the stress is building up. You haven’t done any writing or editing yet and the day is drifting.

Gradually, it takes more and more effort to “not think about it”.  Yet the crazy thing is you’re going to have to get back to that chapter sooner or later.

The only difference procrastinating makes is that you have a gradually increasing level of stress and uneasiness and, when you eventually do get around to acting, you do so under pressure rather than from choice.

Here are six steps to help combat procrastination:

1. Take a few minutes to think about something you have been putting off and to feel, just how much stress putting this off has already caused you since you first realised the task needed action.

2. Think about, and feel, how much stress it is causing you – how much time you spend thinking about it (or trying to not think about it), feeling guilty about it, being reminded about it and so on. Again, get in touch with these feelings of discomfort.

3. Think about how much discomfort it will cause you if you continue to do nothing about it for another few weeks or even another a few months.

4. Okay, you have just experienced the uneasiness and unpleasantness involved in procrastinating on this issue, now let’s look at the benefits of taking action. Take a few moments to really feel how good it will be once you have taken action on this and put it behind you.

5. Think about how just how much time and effort this task will actually require. And compare the cost of taking action (in terms of energy, effort, etc) with the cost of not taking action.

6. Now do it. Right now, while it is still fresh in your mind and in your emotions. Or at least begin doing it. Or plan to take action within the next day or so – and make sure you stick to this commitment.

This post is contributed as Guest post by Alison Blackler. You can contact author on her website www.2mindsnlp.com

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Why Do I Procrastinate?

All I want to do is finish this blog post – So why do I procrastinate?

Why do I leave everything to the last minute? Why do I get so easily distracted when working on something important? Why do I never do the things I want to do?

Because I am a procrastinator.

Hello, My Name is Ella. I am a Procrastinator

I first noticed how bad I was when I started University and was propelled into a world that called for me to plan and coordinate my own time.

Don’t get me wrong, I never missed a deadline or failed a test but I ALWAYS left things until the last minute. Even when my peers around me were eagerly working away on the next project I was sat back busying myself with unimportant and pointless tasks.

I am the Queen of spreadsheets and lists. I love them. I live to plan. And anyone who knows me would never describe me as unorganised or unreliable, but they are all blissfully unaware of my internal battles and how my appearance of always being busy does not mean that anything of value is being achieved.

What I have discovered since reading more about my ‘affliction’ is that procrastinators love to PLAN, we just do not DO.

I like to maintain daily and weekly to-do lists at work and home but what I now realise is that I couldn’t be more ambiguous with my tasks if I tried. I am never specific and, as such, can always find a way to ‘appear’ to have made steps to accomplishing my goal, when in fact, I have made little to no progress.

At university, I would busy myself with lists, plans, and spreadsheets. I would help others in group sessions and produce amazing revision cards –without ever taking any information in. No, in the real world, I do the same.

Thankfully my work does not suffer. I have a job that includes strict deadlines, which for me. Everything gets done on time and I am known as someone who ‘works well under pressure’ when in fact I simply do not know any different.

Where my procrastination really affects me is outside of my day job, in my personal life and in making steps towards my future goals. Basically in matters that are not ‘urgent’ and do not have a strict deadline that have consequences. This blog being one of them.

I have recently started taking this blog seriously and although I love to write my readership is not high enough that I feel much pressure to be consistent. So there is a daily struggle to prioritise time and find the stamina to start and finish a blog post. I have spent hours fussing over the look of my website, or the content of my Pinterest feed when I know what is important to me is the quality and consistency of my content.

I am working hard to try and overcome my basic instincts to waste time on irrelevant tasks, or get sucked into a YouTube vortex that is impossible to climb out of. I spend hours scrolling my twitter feed telling myself that this is all helping to further my brand, but when I am meant to be writing or researching for a blog post – it is simply procrastination.

Why Do I Procrastinate?

I was honestly hoping for a scientific, medicine curing reason for my inability to remain focused. Instead, I have come to the understanding that all of us have this in us to an extent. It is simply that some of us have become chronically affected by it over time.

I recently found an amazing selection of articles on procrastination by Tim Urban from www.waitbutwhy.com. The posts are so unbelievably accurate, in-depth, funny and relatable that I spent a good hour feeling like my mind had been blown.

His articles help to humanise or ‘monkify’ (you’ll understand when have a read) the part of your brain that causes you to stray from your task. In doing so he helps you become conscious of it, which ultimately is the first step to change.

In his third article he talks about the Procrastination Matrix (if you are a procrastinator you need to read this) and he also breaks down the different types of procrastinators there are. I am, and always have been a ‘Impostinator’.

The ‘Impostinator’ is the type of procrastinator that ‘seems’ productive by making themselves busy all the time. As I said earlier, no one at work or at home would ever question my productivity as I have always found ways to make myself seem busy, even when doing absolutely nothing.

Worse still is I have even gotten to the point where I have fooled myself into thinking that I am doing important tasks and achieving tasks. However, when I take a step back I realise I have simply busied myself with unimportant ‘urgent’ tasks, masking the fact I have made no real steps forward towards my objectives.

I want to change. I think I can, but I don’t think it will be simple. I will always be a procrastinator, it is built into my brain, and hence it will be a lifelong battle. (Granted, there are much worse battles to be facing such as poverty, mental illness, and disability so I do and will continue to count my blessings).

Can I Change?

Even writing this post has been a major achievement. This will be the first post I have ever written in one sitting. Start to Finish. Admittedly I did have a 10 minute’ Twitter feed’ break that was unintentional but I snapped myself out of it an came back to the task in hand.

The sense of achievement and lift in self-esteem is instantaneous and contagious. I want to write more. I want to keep going, but as Tim Urban notes in his article, I am aware this is short lived.

As a procrastinator I deal with the uphill struggle of completing my scheduled tasks every day. Even when I coming from a proactive high from the day before my mind seems to forget and getting up early for that run is suddenly not as important or ‘as possible’ as I thought it was yesterday.

But I am getting there. Simply changes have already made a difference such as setting much more specific and manageable goals. For me, I have also included my husband in my plans as having someone question what I have achieved each day is definitely an encouragement for me.

I will keep you posted with my progress and would love to hear if any of you have the same experience. If you do make sure you head over and read the ‘Procrastination Matrix’ by Tim Urban I mentioned earlier. It is a real eye opener and life changing read for all procrastinators.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to Follow me on Bloglovin.

This post is Contributed as Guest post by Ella Louise