Fighting the urge to procrastinate–or maybe it’s just laziness

I’m a writer. I…write. Except, for that last year and a half, I haven’t written much of anything. Sure, I’ve been working and going to school, but there’s been a fair amount of time wasted watching stupid stuff on TV, playing Words with Friends, being nosy on Facebook, and then there’s Pinterest. My God, the time-wasting potential of Pinterest! Hours gone in the blink of an eye, and nothing to show for it but an odd collection of funny pics and inspiring quotes. (Which are, apparently, not very inspiring, since I STILL didn’t get started writing.)

So. I need help. Over the last week or so, I’ve slowly started writing again, to the tune of 1,000 or so words a day. When I was writing regularly, 3-5,000 words a day was not unusual for me, and it seemed almost effortless. Now…well, the Muse is willing, but the body is weak and the mind is easily distracted. (“Hey, I haven’t checked Facebook in the last 5 minutes. Maybe something new is going on…”) Does anyone have suggestions for keeping writing motivation up? I want to write. I love to write. I have a thousand stories and characters in my head that want to get out, but somehow, I have to force myself to sit down at the computer and open the manuscript. And if I don’t write, then a nagging sense of guilt and discontent follows me around for the rest of the day.

So. Suggestions, anyone? Any little tips you use to keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys? Right now, tying myself to the chair is starting to seem like a viable option…although getting OUT of it might be a bit tricky.

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6 thoughts on “Fighting the urge to procrastinate–or maybe it’s just laziness

  1. I had to take facebook etc off my favourites and erase my username and password so I’d have to type it in each time. It was just so that little bit of effort having to sign in gave me the thinking time to say ‘no, I should be working!’

    Goals help, whether daily or weekly. I set a goal of 2000 words a week for my last draft which I stuck to.

    At the moment I have an accountability partner. After everyday we say what we’ve done to achieve our goals and we can kick each other up the arse if we’re being lazy! and congratulate each other when we’ve done good. I’ve found that useful.

    Hope this helps! Good luck with the writing 🙂

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    1. Ditto on the accountability partner. I started this a few months ago with a fellow writer in a similar slump and I think it has helped me get my butt in gear. We do it once a week, and I find I hate it when Monday comes around and I have to type “last week was a wash…”

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  2. I try to write as soon as in the morning. My critic hasn’t woken up yet.

    I also set low and easily reachable goals for myself. For me it is three pages a day. You can always go over and it makes me feel a whole lot better about it that way.

    I use a spreadsheet to organize everything, I’m going to do a blog post on this next week with a sample. I keep track of whats been done on what day and how close I am to my monthly goal.

    When I don’t have an idea I just write about whatever. Sometimes I don’t read it again sometimes I do and mark things I need to do or insights. I base this system off of The Artist Way.

    When I’m working on a project and I’m stuck I work on a letter to my self. Dear— and just start typing about my ideas for the project, where I’m having trouble etc.

    I also like to have accountability, I use the #wipmadness group on twitter to update my progress unless I’m involved in a different twitter event.

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    1. My writing goes much better if I get it done in the morning as well. Just seems to flow better. I’ve been going with a weekly word count goal, and that seems to be working. That way, if real life gets in the way one day, I can make it up on another day. I use a spreadsheet to track my daily progress.

      I’m not on twitter yet, but that sounds like a great idea for accountability.

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