The biggest obstacle I face as a writer is overcoming the tendency to put writing on the back burner. Writing is my life, my love, and my means of staying sane; I’ve put writing before friends, jobs, and relationships—
So why can’t I put more importance on setting aside time to write?
- There’s a show that I want to watch. (I have a DVR. This shouldn’t even be an excuse.)
- Facebook. (Life-destroying social network paired with my apparent lack of willpower.)
- There’s always a fresh idea beyond the one I’m working on. (Attention span fail.)
Are any of them valid? No. Not really. They waste time, make me homesick, show just how lazy I am. And when I schedule time to write, I usually foul it up somehow: procrastinate, self-sabotage, just plain fail. Being a “work in progress” as a person and as a writer must yield some progress if it’s going to continue to be an excuse for my shortcomings.
This post isn’t going to offer you a definite solution. I can offer some suggestions that I should probably try myself. I suppose what people like me—people like us—need most is a support group to keep one another accountable. I’m not sure how to go about this yet, but if I come up with anything, I’ll let you lovely people know.
- Write it on your calendar. Seeing “Write: 8a-3p” in your face makes it more tangible a goal than defining it vaguely in your head where you can’t physically see it.
- Tacking/Taping sheets of inspiration, work, or development material around your work station. It keeps your project real. I look at it and remember little things I love about my project. It makes me want to work on it.
- Get other writers who need to get their work done to write with you. Online or in a coffee shop. Have word wars and share favorite sentences or bits of dialog. Swap paragraphs and get opinions. Never underestimate the support of writing with others.
Just remember that you don’t have to eat, sleep, and breathe writing to be a writer, but do make time for it.
How do you overcome procrastination and laziness?
Do you have a support network? How deeply is your writing impacted by that network?