No, you don’t have ADHD, you’re just a writer…
Seriously though, giving into procrastination is one of the worst habits a writer can have; sadly, it’s quite common.
If your goal is to get your manuscript published, to have people read your work, to be financially free to make writing a full-time job—in short, to move beyond the label of “aspiring writer”—then you need to get cracking.
Throughout the time that I’ve operated The Literary Game, I keep referring to the 10,000 hours rule espoused by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers because it’s true. If you want to be a writer, you need to put the work in. The question then becomes how do you fight procrastination? It’s simple: realize what’s at stake. If you make excuses to not write, you won’t be a writer.
I certainly don’t expect my readers to be wholly devoid of any other responsibilities aside from writing. I expect that the vast majority have at least a few of the following in their lives: jobs, significant others, school, familial responsibilities, health issues, or a social life. Yes, it may seem like there’s simply no time to actually move forward in your writing career. That’s a lie.
If writing is your passion, you probably want to be recognized for it. You probably would love to have people read your writing. You probably would love to do it full-time. You can’t do any of those if you don’t actually write on a consistent basis.
But again, aside from sheer willpower and understanding the larger picture, how do you fight procrastination? Here are a few tips:
1. Embrace Love. If you’re not married or in a relationship, find love with someone who complements you. If you are married or in a relationship and it’s not providing you that spark, then fix your problems or move on. Love is a vitalizing force that can stir anyone past their natural limitations.
2. Sleep. This one’s simple. If you’re exhausted, your thinking will be muddled and your writing will be subpar. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to keep yourself focused and positive.
3. Exercise. This one’s NOT a time waster. The energy you will receive from consistent exercising will offset the time spent. An added bonus of better health isn’t too bad either!
4. Realize That It’s A Process. Even if you work consistently to write while balancing all your other responsibilities, it may be a while before you move forward. Understand that and accept that anything worth it takes time to develop. Becoming a successful writer is no exception.
5. Eliminate Your Vices. Regardless of whether it’s something as serious as drug abuse or something seemingly innocuous like spending too much time on Facebook, take action to eliminate your vices. If you can’t do it alone, make sure to contact a friend, family member, loved one, or trained professional to help you along. The time saved from giving in to your vice can easily be transferred to your writing.
Thank you for reading. If you would be so kind, please help me publicize my blog by sharing this post on social media if you found my advice helpful.