This is a problem that I have temporarily outgrown. Temporarily, because I’m sure it will come back to me eventually. Writer’s block is a crippling thing to a writer, and it is one of the hardest things in the writing process.
I’m not going to talk much about writer’s block today. But What I’m talking about is similar. Have you ever wanted to write, but you just look at all the other things you could be doing instead? Did you head towards reading or watching movies instead? Or did you just think that you’ll do it tomorrow?
The problem here is that if you think that you’re going to do something later, then odds are that you aren’t going to do it to its full potential. Or you might not do it at all. Not to mention that you are just adding things to hang over your head and cause stress until you get them out of your way.
Writing should never be something that hangs over your head. Writing should be fun. And it should be something that you use to procrastinate, not something that you have to procrastinate for. This is coming from an expert in procrastination, by the way.
I’m trying to change that… but writing is too tempting now.
Here’s how I got that cloud of “I’ll do it tomorrow”s out of my way:
It started with NaNoWriMo. I wrote almost every single day of NaNoWriMo, and the days that I didn’t work on my book, I wrote on this blog. Step one is to write everyday for a set amount of time. For me, it was one month.
And I’m not talking writing in a journal about what you did that day, or all of your inner thoughts. Or even just keeping a blog like me. That kind of thing might work for a lot of you, but it isn’t the only way.
I’m talking about writing your story. Have you ever been so deep into a book that you just can’t put it down? When you have more important things to worry about, and yet you just kept reading? Maybe even reread the book twice right afterwards…?
I get carried away.
It’s because your human. And we humans have this weird habit of getting caught in fictional realities and pining for the moment for Hazel and Augustus to kiss or for Katniss to win the Hunger Games. We just can’t move away from these stories no matter we try.
Your story should be like that. You may be wondering how in the world your supposed to get into something that isn’t even written. Just think about everything that could happen. Think about one thing that you know will happen. Work until you can’t stay awake any longer trying to get to that one thing.
I’m telling you. Writing huge moments like that is so much better than reading them. So write your story every single day. But don’t feel pressured to push out a certain number of words each day.
Your readers can tell if you aren’t in a good writing mood. They can tell if you don’t like what you’re writing. They’ve got psychic senses like that.
And if you are scared about what others will think of what you want to write, don’t worry. Nobody’s going to read it until you let them. Go ahead and write those things that you want to, even if they are things that you might not end up leaving in the book. Even if they are things you’d rather nobody read.
It will help you connect to the book and you can always take those things out later if you want.
Ever heard the term “Fake it till you make it”? Yeah, that really worked out for me. Even after just blogging for every day makes me want to blog more. It helps, too, that there are people out there who actually want to read my rambles, but the point is that writing this comes naturally to me now.
And every day, I feel the need to write. Sometimes I’ll even just get out a piece of paper while I’m in class and just write something down for a book I don’t plan to write until at least the middle of May…
Try this! I’m telling you, it works so well. I can’t even remember all of that Writer’s block now. And it sparks so many ideas too! I’ve already got a pretty good idea what my next two books will be about.
On NaNoWriMo’s website has a ton of resources for writers too! If you are still in your first draft and haven’t watched their virtual write-ins on YouTube, watch them! They are so helpful! And if you watch them, you might hear my name once or twice… they gave me a shout out when I hit 50k. Read something I wrote. That was awesome.
So that was step one. Step to is to keep it up. The first month it may feel like work, but after that, I feel like I have no idea what I’ve been doing with my life when I haven’t been writing as much as I am now. I can’t imagine what else I’d rather be doing, either. It’s a whole other side to writing.
I was reading a book yesterday, and the character’s parents were making her go to therapy. And she really needed to talk about this trauma she’d been through, and she wouldn’t talk at all. Silence. And I’m just sitting there, thinking, “Why are you not writing right now? It will solve all of your problems!”
Yeah, writing is a great way to vent too. If you have an idea, get it out on paper. If you experience something that is story worthy, write it down. This is all going to help you in the future.
So my challenge is to follow step one. Write! Don’t let it be work. Let it be a release, something fun and exciting. I know this sounds horrible, but if you end up crying at the death of one of your own characters, your doing a good job.
That totally didn’t happen to me. There were actually a few deaths in my first draft… never mind.
Sorry this post is so long. I really don’t want to study.
Expert in procrastination, remember?
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!