Having trouble keeping your New Year’s writing resolutions? Here are some tips that work for procrastination in general and for writing specifically.
1. Set a goal that’s not intimidating. Last week I suggested that you determine to write just 30 minutes a day.
2. Ask someone close to you to hold you accountable DAILY. Years ago I had a friend who called every night about 9:00 to ask if I’d written my page for the day.
3. Remember that others are involved. Even though we’re used to disappointing ourselves, it’s harder to disappoint others who care about us and our dreams. When my friend used to call me, I’d sometimes be eating dinner and realize I hadn’t written my quota. So after dinner, I’d rush to the computer so I could tell her I’d been good.
4. Get rid of as many distractions as possible. You know what helps you focus and what sidetracks you. Set yourself up to succeed in your daily quota.
5. Allow yourself to not be perfect. Do you avoid writing because you’re not skilled enough? Or you don’t know how or where to start? Then remind yourself that writing garbage is still writing. Just start. One day jot down everything you can think of about the story you want to write. The next day, write down anything you can think of about the main characters you’ll put in the story. On another day, you can write about why you think your story would be interesting. The important thing is to write daily or almost daily and establish a habit.
6. Don’t forget to reward yourself, as I also wrote last week. I have always hated to clean bathrooms. So years ago, I would buy chocolate, and I only got to eat some after I cleaned a bathroom. You may need to use chocolate at first, but as you keep writing, you’ll find that fulfilling your goal of writing is a reward in itself.
7. Just get a grip and do it. That’s certainly not original, but it works. Aren’t you tired of wanting to write and not doing it? Then just do it.
How to start. Where to start. How to break your book down into manageable parts and stay on task. We address all these in our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks. Whatever tools you use, get in the writing habit. Write often, and you’ll soon write well.