“Oh my ears and whiskers, I’m late again…” Talk about procrastinating. I’ve been meaning to write for days now. Some of our best writers are procrastinators which makes me feel a bit less guilty.
It’s also true that many writers carry out certain preparations, actions, small rituals or ceremonies to help create the mood and settle the mind. Some like to light candles, others to sharpen pencils, there many instances of writers trying to overcome procrastinating so they can begin to write.
It is said that Truman Capote liked to re-arrange the ornaments on his mantelpiece before beginning to write. Elizabeth Jolley mentioned in her writings that she liked to prepare dinner before disappearing into the world of fiction. Tim Winton once mentioned dressing for work and carrying a brief case to his studio a few steps from his house to help set the mood and create the illusion of going to work.
There are times when writers would sooner clean out a dirty oven than deal with the blank page – and that’s saying something!
Most of us, though, end up writing again because we just can’t help ourselves.
If you’ve any personal stories or stories you’ve heard about other writers procrastinating. I’d love to hear them.
Some tips for procrastinators from an experienced one.
Develop a routine to help you settle down to write.
Try to set aside time each day to write.
Prepare your writing space/materials.
Is there a small action/ritual/ceremony you can perform to set the mood?
Make yourself comfortable (but not too comfortable).
Try to have something already started, for example, notes, a heading or a sentence, a quote, even a few words so that you don’t have to begin with a blank page.
Put on your writing hat.
Try to ignore distractions such as the phone, email messages, newspapers, etc.
Start! Once you’ve settled into writing and it starts to flow you’ll curse yourself for not starting earlier.