Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font


February 17th, 2015
7 Strategies to Stop Writer Procrastination

dreamstimefree_3216952

Sometimes it’s just impossible to write. Life gets in the way or something shinier comes along, something way more fun than writing.

I’ve been writing for ten years now, and I’ve come up with several strategies to give myself a kick start when the last thing I want to do is write to meet a looming deadline.

1. Do timed writing sessions.

Set your oven timer or computer/phone timer for half an hour or an hour. Sit down and write until the timer goes off. Repeat throughout the day until your target number of words is achieved.

2. Do timed writing sessions with other writers.

Call a friend and do a joint writing session. If you belong to a group like Savvy Authors or Romance Divas pop into their chat rooms and do some sprint writing with other writers. Find other writers on Twitter using the hashtag #1k1hr and accept their challenge.

3. Go to a cafe or library.

Write in a cafe or a library – a place where you can’t leap up and do something else. This is my favorite strategy.

4. Give yourself a deadline/target.

Then sit down and write. Kick your deadline’s butt. I try to write 2000 words most days. If I’m having a tough time keeping my butt in my seat, I’ll break down my target words into 500 word blocks and attack them in shorter writing sessions.

5. Earn a treat.

Make a deal with yourself. If you sit down and write the required number of words within a specified time, you’ll receive a treat. The treat can be something like watching a movie or taking time out to read a book or a chocolate bar.

6. Try working on a scene that comes later in the book.

Sometimes we need a change of pace to get the words flowing.

7. Just do it.

Sometimes, we need to grit it out and force ourselves to write. The output mightn’t be pretty, but remember that at least we’re putting words to paper. We can always fix them later during the polishing stage.

Do you have any additional suggestions?

3 comments to “7 Strategies to Stop Writer Procrastination”

  1. Just do it – when I have deadlines this is my motto. But strangely enough, my other strategy is to leave the house and go for a walk or drive. I think the edginess in my mood is diminished or I’m refreshed or something.


  2. Finding time alone to sit uninterrupted when you have family members coming and going and needing your attention, I’m sure would be a big distraction too.


  3. Knowing when you’re most productive helps too.

    For example, I know I’m at my most creative and productive early in the morning before anyone else is awake, but for editing, that’s best left for late evening when I’m more willing to do more exacting tasks.