Dealing with Procrastination as a Writer: A Personal Experience

Today makes it 42 days I posted a new article on this blog. For the past one month, I stopped my freelance writing activities which has affected my blog updates too. I must confess it was a hell of a time, an unforgettable experience and moment of deep reflection worth sharing with you.

What happened?

Shortly before my convocation ceremony (Which came up last month), a friend invited me over to carry out a particular task that will last for some weeks. This, I agreed to reluctantly and together we carried out this task for two weeks. While this task lasted, I wrote nothing either on my blog or elsewhere. Of course, my writing career suffered a huge setback.

As if that was not enough:

Before commencing the task with my friend, my laptop’s battery got damaged so I can only use it with electricity! And immediately I finished the task, I became so reluctant to pick up my pen. I wasn’t eager anymore to type on my computer, and each day passes by and I assured myself I will write the next day.

The monster called Procrastination

Procrastination, which means postponing, or setting aside a task you ought to execute today for another day is a monster. Truly the killer of dreams and an effectual way to stop pursuing a particular cause. When you procrastinate you become so lazy, you develop a psychological apathy towards the task at hand, and most times dread ever going back to it.

Procrastination for a writer: My Personal Experience

Procrastination affects writing just like any other profession. In fact, that of a writer is more visible, more damaging and easy. During the last few weeks, procrastination made me lost my writing  voice. It made writing so difficult, and I dreaded ever putting anything down to write. My writing became so disrupted that the only consolation I put up for myself is that I will write tomorrow. In fact, I wondered if I could ever be able to write again. That is what procrastination does for a writer. It makes you lose your self-confidence, you seize to believe in yourself and abilities, and instead of been a writer you become a waiter.

Dealing with Procrastination as a Writer

Though Procrastination affected my writing career, I learnt some lessons especially on how to handle it. This is to prevent a re-occurrence and make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes as mine.

Here are 5 ways to deal with procrastination as a writer:

  • Understand the phenomenon:

    The first step to dealing with procrastination is to understand the phenomenon and how it works. Always have it in mind that it creeps into your career unknowingly, and always difficult to know that you have procrastinated. It gives you a sense of confidence that nothing will happen if you fail to write today. As a writer, when you have this feeling, you should understand that it’s nothing but procrastination and then act fast.

 

  • Make it a duty to write daily:

    This is an advice that top players in the writing industry tell fellow writers to heed. When you write daily, you achieve many things which include:

  1. You remain in a right state of mind to write (This is because writing deals with your state of mind)
  2. You remain less bothered about what to post
  3. You have a large pool of ready articles to choose.

So handle procrastination and make writing daily important. With a daily writing time table, you will have defeated it by a large percentage.

  • Make writing a top priority always:

    You cannot write daily if you don’t make the act of writing an important aspect of your life. What should always come to your mind always is writing. You think, dream and feel writing. It’s only when writing becomes a top priority that you won’t think of anything else than to write. In reality, you execute other tasks as well but practically writing remains top most in your heart. With this mind-set, you won’t see yourself procrastinating a writing task for another time or day.

 

  • Make reading a habit:

    Good writers are avid readers, and avid readers never run out of writing ideas always. To deal with procrastination, make it a habit to read always.

  • Read novels as much as you can.
  • Read about writing and its different techniques.
  • Read about the challenges faced by writers and how they overcome them.
  • Read blog posts of fellow writers, top players in the writing industry, mentors, etc.

All these and many more, ensures that you are on top of your game always. You will write as much as you can, and many more.

  • Think about your audience:

    Thinking about your audience is an effective way to handle procrastination. As a writer, your audience are the most important aspect of your career. Not only do they read what you write, they wait for it, and put them into practice. Now imagine the scenario whereby an audience that have been waiting so long for your write-up get disappointed. Devastating isn’t it? You might as well lose a sizeable number of them if this persists for long. The internet is so populated, and you need fresh contents always to stay on top of the game. As a writer, when you think about the audience, you will never procrastinate and will want to satisfy them always.

On a Final Note:

Procrastination is real, and it’s a cog in the wheel of a writer’s progress. The surprising thing is that it creeps unknowingly into a writer’s career, and if not taken care of, will cause a huge damage to it. As a writer, you should always be ready for setbacks, disappointments and so on in your career. These weigh you down and makes you want to think that procrastination is the next thing for you. But with the practical steps highlighted above, you will overcome procrastination and be in charge of your writing career. Well, I have learnt my lessons and I am back for good.

Over to You

As a writer, have you ever experienced procrastination? What are the steps you have taken to overcome it successfully? Make your submissions in the comment box.

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