6/8/2019 0 Comments
When I’m sitting at my desk, staring at the screen and thinking about how I really have to scrub the bathroom sink, I know I have a problem.
Writers procrastinate now and then or if you’re like I used to be, every five minutes. But there are reasons we do it. I’m no longer the Queen of Procrastination because I pay attention to those moments I don’t want to be writing.
Here are four questions you can ask yourself if you feel like you have to use force and not consistent and helpful discipline to get your writing done.
Do you like what you’re doing?
Don’t do what you hate. Find the projects that inspire you.
Is perfectionism rearing its ugly head again?
Deep down you believe it will never be good enough so you drag your feet in order to never see the imperfection that ends up on paper. Don’t overthink. Just get it written. No one’s first draft is perfect. Not even the 20th draft is.
Are you writing something you’re not particularly fond of like pitching or summarizing?
This kind of writing isn’t my favorite either, but when I connect it to what I value, getting my work out there, I feel better about it. I often feel perfectionism rise up around this kind of writing. To get out of that mindset, I get help writing those kinds of things.
Are you trying to do too many things at once?
I’m doing this one right now. I have so many projects to complete that I don’t want to sit at my computer. If you feel overwhelmed, you’re likely to want to avoid writing. Take a breath and then break down your projects into smaller chunks. Don’t work on too many chunks in one day. Pace yourself.
Discipline isn’t a bad word. It’s not about punishment. It’s the 1st Pro Writer Key because we need to get our butts in the chair and words on the page. But we don’t make it punishment. We become students of the craft of writing. That’s what discipline means, to become a student of something, and we do this by binding ourselves to what we value.
So next time you’re forcing yourself to work, stop and take a look at why you feel you have to do that to yourself. A pro doesn’t turn their work into punishment. A pro values themselves and their work too much for that. Adopt the lifestyle and mindset of a pro writer and success on your terms doing what you love can be yours. It begins within.
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Joanne Young Elliott
Founder of The 7 Keys to Becoming a Pro Writer aka The Success Predictors.