Beating author procrastination



It's official. The National Association of United Writers from Facebook (or the NAUWFF) has decided there is no such thing as Writer's Block. It's called Writer's Procrastination now and famed writer and editor Lary Crews will show you how to beat it.

Novel Secrets: Beating writer’s procrastination.

Personally, I believe writer’s block is a made-up malaise invented by writers because they are scared to write. They should call it Writer’s Procrastination, but it wouldn’t look good on the t-shirt. So here’s advice for when you find it hard to write:

The fear of beginning is the fear of putting words on an empty computer screen. To beat it, come up with ten sentences about not starting. Instead of trying to come up with the perfect first sentence for your novel, write ten first sentences. Make sure each sentence is different. Write about not being able to write. Treat the process as a game and don't judge yourself. Just get the words on the screen, then go back and try to find the best one. There may even be a couple "best ones." Besides, you've started writing, which was the idea in the first place.

Skip the beginning. Often the best way to get past the hump of beginning a novel is to skip the beginning. Start writing wherever you're ready to start. You don’t have to start at the beginning. Write a later chapter you’re excited about.

Read your own writing. If you can't get rolling, look back over what you wrote the day before. It could get you moving again.

Take care of writing distractions. When anything pops into your head, which is not relevant to what you're writing now, just skip to the end of your file and write it, then return to where you were. Later on, use the cut and paste function to put those on-the-fly ideas into a special file. The idea is, you seldom stop writing for a minute and you save everything you write for future use.

Create a space where you like to be. Surround yourself with things you like to see and create an environment in which you feel secure and happy. If you create a place, you like to be, you're more likely to be there.

Write as consistently as you can. Some struggling writers say, "There's no point in my trying to write. I only have an hour a day." It doesn't matter if you write for an hour a day or for 6 hours a day like me, you have to do it every day you possibly can.

Talk about your writing. When you're running into a block, a great way to overcome it is to talk about your writing. On Facebook or Twitter or by phone call or text, talk to someone about what you are writing. One way or another, talking about your writing can get you excited about it again.

Start feeling guilty. You have a unique talent. If you find excuses not to write, when you have the talent to do it, shouldn't you feel guilty? You've been given a skill most people do not have. You are a writer. You should write.

You need to use your gift.

Shame on you if you don't.

----- (From NOVEL SECRETS available in paperback and Kindle form.)


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