Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons first drafts don’t get finished. I know this first hand. I can’t even tell you how many stories I’ve started and then never finished. I think the reason for this is simple – I would begin to think of it as work, rather than entertainment.

The minute writing stops being fun, it becomes a chore, and therefore, you’ll be less likely to do it. The way I’ve gotten past this is just as simple – look at writing as entertainment. Once you get into your story and the characters become real to you, you’ll begin to look forward to sitting down every day to your writing. To me, it’s like watching my favorite TV show, only I get to decide what happens and how it ends. To me, this is more fun than any other thing.

Sure, it’s easy to get sidetracked making dinner, or playing with your kids, or going out with friends, or even watching the latest episode of Lost. There will always be distractions. That is unavoidable. What you can avoid is letting these distractions ruin your chances of becoming a writer. Don’t let them take away from your writing time. If your writing time is every evening at 7, but you end up getting distracted and watching American Idol, maybe it would help to change your writing time. At which point during your day do you feel least distracted? Maybe it’s first thing in the morning before you do anything else. Maybe it’s sitting down for an hour before bed and getting a few pages finished. Any time is better than no time. Maybe you can only afford to spend 20 minutes a day on writing. That’s okay, too, as long as you get in the habit of doing it every day.

What works best for me is writing right before bed. Usually I’ll go to bed an hour or two early, and bring my laptop. I seem to do my best writing at this time of day. Maybe it’s because I’ve had all day to think about what I’m going to write. By the time 9 o clock rolls around, I can’t wait to climb into bed with my laptop and write for a couple of hours.

Another thing to consider – how exciting is your story? If you’re having a hard time getting into your story, perhaps the reader will, too. You might want to consider adding an element of excitement to it. Every story can benefit from a little action, or a little romance, or a little mystery. If you’re excited to write about it, your readers will be excited to read it, too.

Happy writing!

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