Just Write it! Writing Procrastination Guilt

Guilty as Charged: 1st Degree Writing Procrastination

overcoming writing procrastinationProcrastination is a complex subject, but is particularly troubling with writing procrastination. Who hasn’t procrastinated writing a term paper? Or who hasn’t procrastinated to the point of having to stay up all night?


Self-Publishing

I had planned to write this article five days ago. Each day I didn’t write the article, a negative twinge of guilt grew. Now that I have overcome my disease it, I find it amusing I procrastinated writing an article on writing procrastination! The ironic thing is that once I got going, the article only took 20 minutes to write! The danger with procrastination in writing is that it can lead to a downward cycle through further guilt, anxiety, doubt, loss of self-esteem, inspiration. This can lead to a cascade of procrastination events, eventually leading to “writer’s block.” How can we stop writing procrastination in its tracks? First, identify what type of writing procrastination might be experiencing. Writing procrastination can be caused by three underlying issues:

Number1Perfectionism: This is one classic cause of writing procrastination. In the mind’s eye we imagine the writing piece to be unrealistically grandiose. Deep down, however, we know the writing will only be “perfect” after several rewrites, edits, and proofreading. Knowing that it will not be “perfect” right off, we chose not to do it at all. The solution is to break up your writing assignments into smaller sections, and rough drafts, such as Rough Draft One: Chapter One, Section One. Write emotionally and passionately, knowing later you will come back for Rough Draft Two: Chapter One, Section One, and so on. Name your files as such. Remove perfectionism pressure by doing small pieces on a weekly or daily basis.

Number 2Deadlines: Believe it or not, deadlines can cause procrastination. Deadlines are necessary in writing else we would never see a daily newspaper! However, if you are writing on your own, deadlines can be deadly. Depending on your personality, deadlines may be too much pressure. If you tend to rebel at the thought of time pressure, go easy, and approach writing in a gentler way. Perhaps joining a writing group will inspire you to write. You can share your writing without the pressure of writing for an artificial deadline.

Number 3Inspiration: If you are not inspired, no words will spring from your pen, or keyboard. So stop trying to write and instead get inspired. How do you get inspired? This is different for different writers. If you find that as you sit down to write, you have nothing to say, use your writing time to get inspired. Go for a walk in a beautiful setting, or take a hot bubble bath! Put on your favorite music, sit and meditate for a while. Plugging into the muse is key in getting your flow going. Share your tricks for overcoming procrastination in the comments below.


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The Just Write it! Series

Just Write it! Series

Stereotypical Writer Burning Midnight Oil!

Enjoy a Happy Writing New Year with the Just Write it! Series

To borrow from the Nike People, this New Year has inspired me to Just Write it! And that is exactly what I am doing. I have promised myself and my subscribers to share my writing secrets! The reality is, I have not made it a priority to write a weekly blog! So the Just Write it! Series is my New Year’s Resolution. If your New Year’s resolution is to write or to write more, the Just Write It! Series is especially for you.

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I have designed the Just Write it! Series to help new (and not-so-new) writers break through false impressions, procrastination, writer’s block, life’s distractions, personal insecurities, and perfectionism. I have faced these obstacles and still managed to write and publish 14 books in the past 6 years! In my role as writing and publishing coach I have also guided new writers to publish some 92 books during that time. I share my tricks, secrets, and fresh approaches for you to become a successful writer and published author in the Just Write it! Series. Feel free to make comments or questions below for further help and support.

How to Write between the Cracks of Life

Newer writers often envision a false impression of what a real writer looks like and acts like. We have all seen the stereotypical reporter on television and movies, which has influenced us with a certain idea about how to write. Maybe you imagine that a real writer sits down at a typewriter (now a laptop) and writes for 12 hours straight (or even all night). In my experience, this is the exception and not the rule. What you are most likely seeing is a reporter, who has done weeks or months of research and needs to finish the article the night before the deadline. People who work for periodicals, television, or online magazines are always up against deadlines and must write articles last-minute. These are writers whose day job is writing–but bear in mind not all writers write for a living.

True enough, many times I was super-inspired to write and resultingly spent multiple 12-hour days doing so. Luckily, I was on a writing sabbatical which supported that particular writing madness. But for the most part writing occurs between the cracks of life, my writing included. A friend of mine who was a best-selling author for one of her 14 published books, wrote as she describes it, “between the cracks of life.” For her, this meant an hour before work, half an hour a few days a week at lunch, and maybe several hours on the weekend, 3 or 4 pages at a time. Once you capture a vision of the book or article you are writing, and put together a rough outline (or not); writing 1-3 pages at a time is a very easy task.

Just Write it

Writing Day &  Night is the Exception & Not the Rule

Create Your Own Style

As a writer, adopt your own style. Do not let a writer stereotype keep you from writing because your writing work style does not fit into that writing fantasy. If you truly love to write, you will find your own style, that matches your personal idiosyncracies, scheduling, and work demands. Next week, we’ll be talking about how to overcome procrastination in writing.


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Are You Writing from Your Heart?

Are You Writing from Your Heart or from Your Head?

By Deborah S. Nelson

Writing from Your Heart or Head, which is better? When teaching, I speak of two writing methods–The Art of Writing, which is writing from your heart; and The Craft of Writing, which is writing from your head.

To be a good writer, you only need one method–writing from your heart. I urge clients, writers, and students to spill their passion. First pour your heart out. Once you tell you story on paper (or computer) it is easy to clean it up. We can hire editors, copy editors, and proofreaders to smooth the rough edges. Most importantly, tell your story authentically with passion.

Most of my clients and students are afraid their writing might be “bad writing.” This fear is a culturally shared fear dating back hundreds of years when publishing houses held the key to the printing press. They defined what was “good” writing and “bad” writing, often based on self-perpetuating factors. Today we enjoy print on demand which allows us to print just one book affordably. We can publish our own works now. We need not be scholars, or celebrities, or part of the elite to be published. Democracy has come to publishing. We do not need anyone’s permission write and to publish.

writing from your heart is the best direction. Warning Sign says watch writing with your ego.

Is My Writing Good or Bad Writing?

No system to filter good writing from bad writing is yet in place on this new playing field of self-publishing. The system inside traditional publishing houses is based as much on the book’s monetization potential as writing quality. I have seen this in action. Yet, we are all likely to agree a difference between good and bad writing is a reality.

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After working in both traditional publishing and self-publishing, I realize the real distinction between good writing and bad writing boils down to writing from your heart. Too often writers are writing for the attention of being published. They are like people who talk to hear themselves talk.  Similarly these writers crave seeing their name in print. When you write self-consciously like this, it is not writing from your heart, this is writing from your ego.

Writing from Ego Likely to Create “Bad Writing”

To coax the best writing from your heart, drop the idea of appearances. Transcend them memory of your high school or college English teacher. You are telling a story, or teaching something to your readers to help them. You are entertaining, teaching, or providing valuable information. Feeling the connection between what you share and who share you it with, will automatically create good writing. Writing from your heart will cover up a multitude of writing sins when you engage readers with your passion. Next time you write, forget about grammar, spelling, vocabulary. Let it rip! Writing from your heart breaks the spell of writer’s block, and eliminates the quest for writing discipline.


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Writing Discipline: Making Yourself Write!

Writing Discipline Can Backfire. Inspiration is what you need.

Writing Discipline or Inspiration–What Works Best?

Need Writing Discipline or is it Something Else?

By Deborah S. Nelson

As a writer, and in the role of writing coach, I am often asked,  “Do you have certain place and time that you make yourself sit down and write?” My answer is NO.

It is rare that I make myself write or struggle with “writer’s block”. But how can you quickly be in that I love to write state?


Self-Publishing

Many writers face issues with feeling like they need to make themselves write. Often, when they do create a writing discipline, such as writing at a certain time for a specified time. The pressure is often too much and they struggle to get something written. Next they struggle with ensuing guilt for not getting anything done.

Writing Discipline or Inspired Writing?

This method makes take a little more time upfront, but will ultimately have you passionately searching for 15 minutes segments to write. This is what I call inspired writing. I am an inspired writer, and I never “make” myself sit down and write. In fact, I often need to make myself stop to take a stretch, food, or bathroom break! My writing projects seem never-ending and my biggest challenge is completing one project, so I can tackle next. How can you do this? You must prepare and nurture the creative soil of your heart and soul. The best writing comes from deep inside, and if you have not prepared the depths, you might find yourself sitting at a desk with all the nice tools with nothing to say.

My Seven Top Inspired Writing Secrets

1. Never force yourself to write against your will unless you are in a job and have a deadline and your paycheck depends on it.

2. Nurture your creative spirit with daily meditation, walks, prayer, and quiet time. Breathe in and breathe out. Contemplation is what feeds your writing.

3. Make a book cover first. When writing a book, formulate your concept, find a compelling image, and use Createspace Cover Creator to make a free book cover.

4. When an idea comes to you, grab a laptop, a journal, or a paper and pencil and write it down immediately. These inspirations will fuel inspired writing.

5. Banish guilt. Replace feelings of guilt with opportunities to inspire. Guilt is a negative motivator, and the best writing comes from inspiration. Guilt can work, but for a limited time.

6. Fire the Critic: Get the real passion and real story on paper/in computer. Later, hire an editor or proofreader, or even do that yourself; but keep the writing critic away from your writing process. The critic stifles free flowing creativity.

7. Read this Psychology Today Article: Five Ways to Get Yourself Writing Today

Replace Writing Discipline with Inspired Writing

There are those who advocate creating writing discipline by organizing the perfect writing area, and these make sense, too. If you are writing for a living, these strategies may not immediately apply. You may have a deadline and turning your article or story in is key to keeping your job. However, if you adopt these strategies gently over time, you may find that you are writing that article or book project before it is actually due, because you are inspired and not forcing yourself to write. Internal inspiration can take your writing much further than motivating yourself with negative consequences. Give yourself time and be gentle when implementing some of these strategies. I write thousands of words almost every day, because I am inspired, and can’t wait to get them on “paper.”


How to publish a book CoursesIntent to Publish Agreement

Are you ready to get started? Are you ready to take a leap of faith and make that commitment to publish your book? Then sign an Intent to Publish Agreement with yourself. Once you do that, or if even you aren’t quite ready … continue reading this article to get going; as this website also covers all the frequently asked self-publishing questions and more! 


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