Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Don't Put it Off

Procrastination. I do it (a lot). I'm doing it now. You do it. Everyone, at some stage in their lives, does it. There's no shame in it. We all need a rest from our writing and most of us have busy lives that often take priority over our writing. There's the cleaning, cooking, day job, children, pets, elderly relatives, doctors appointments and dental appointments etc - there's no getting round these. But then there's the Internet: e-mails, blogging, twittering or tweeting or whatever you call it, social networking, browsing Amazon, browsing anything at all that doesn't have anything remotely to do with writing. And by the time we've done all of this, where is the time to write?

I'm guilty as charged when it comes to procrastination and here are the main reasons I, and a guess a lot of other writers, do it:

1. We are afraid to start writing as we think we can't do it and our efforts will be complete and utter rubbish. (Thinking like this is complete and utter rubbish!)
2. We con ourselves that watching the CSI series on DVD is  good idea. (It may well be so once in a while as it's a cracking series, but not if you do it every day!)
3. Everyone says that networking is important for our writing careers so we are doing ourselves good by spending lots of time on-line. (But you can get too much of a good thing!)
4. We'd much rather clean out the fridge, clean the oven, de-fluff the tumble drier, than write. (These jobs need doing but delegating some of them to other people so you don't end up doing all of them is a good idea.)
5. We have lots of projects on the go and can't decide which to finish first so we help ourselves decide by sitting down in front of the TV with a cuppa and some chocolate - we will decide later! (Just pick one, look at it and start working on it - it's the only way. The sooner you make a start, the better. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Pick straws or toss a coin if you have to!)
6.By not writing but actually thinking about it as we are doing other things, we help the creative process and allow the information to stew in our brains to come up with that perfect ending, or help us to become unstuck on a seemingly sticky plot. (But it's not a good idea to think too much  -  you have to write something at some point!)

So, switch off the Internet, step away from the chocolate, ignore the state of the fridge, get your bum on the seat and write something. Anything. No matter how rubbish you think it will be. You can work on rubbish but you can't work on nothing.

Happy writing

Julie xx

6 comments:

Julie said...

I feel like I could have written this post myself, as these reasons for procrastinating sound so familiar!! I'm trying to break this habit, love the idea of working on rubbish. Great post. :)

Diane Fordham said...

LOL.. so very true Julie. I guess like everything else we have to find that balance. It is good to have a 'little' break from writing to become inspired for that next piece of writing, and as you say to network BUT to avoid writing; not such a good idea. I really enjoyed your post thank you :-)

Julie P said...

Hi, Julie. I think we've really confused everyone here quite nicely with having the same name! LOL! I think we all procrastinate to a certain extent, but it's when it gets a bit out of hand and we don't eventually get down to some actual writing that it becomes a problem.

Here's to more writing and less procrastination!

Julie xx (The other one!)

Julie P said...

Hi, Diane. Thank you!

I love networking as much as most writers do but one has to earn the title 'writer' which doesn't happen if we don't actually write, LOL!

One day we will get in those pesky women's mags together, Di!
Julie xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hope you keep going. :0)I'm trying to keep my husband on an even keel, suffering again with back pain, trying to make myself begin book five, and ironing everything in sight, (including reading posts - haven't been able to do this for weeks due to editing), to forget about his pain... it will sort itself out eventually...

Julie P said...

Oh, I intend to, Carole!

Sorry to hear about husband's pain - not easy to deal with for him, or you. I hope it's sorted soon.

Hope book five gets off the ground soon too - can't wait!

Julie xx