Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
“I think I’ll start tomorrow… when I have better lighting, a more powerful computer, a new pencil… etc.” The excuses can sometimes take over your whole day and when the day’s over you still haven’t written a word. Been there, done that? I know I have.
I used to be convinced that unless I had a legal pad and a great pencil I couldn’t be expected to write fiction. I know… kooky, right? I could sit at the computer and hammer out nonfiction without any hesitation, but fiction eluded me. Okay, time to ‘fess up. I let fiction elude me. Why? I was afraid to start, that’s why.
Over time I honed my skills to “write on the fly” and thank goodness because I write for a living so I can’t be ruled by the whims of the Muse. Take it from me, the Muse is a fickle fairy and if you wait for her, you will likely be waiting a long, long time. I’ve found I need to wrestle her to the ground and shake a few good ideas out! Whether you’re a new blogger or a seasoned one, I’m certain there are times when you tell yourself, “I have a blog post to get written,” and then you just sit and stare at the screen.
Here are three tips to (hopefully) help you move beyond procrastination toward completion:
- It’s all about time. Don’t take this to mean you need to carve out hours and hours of uninterrupted, peaceful, Zen-like time. You need to learn to use every free minute productively. Sitting at the bus stop for 10 minutes? Jot ideas for a few blog posts. Waiting in line at the grocery store? Mentally roll around a few sub topics for an extended blog series. Use your time wisely.
- Survey your environment. Is your office an explosion of sticky notes, half empty cups of coffee and candy bar wrappers? Do you feel inspired to create in that environment? If not, take a few moments and clean it up. Even if you’ve cleaned your office space, you might find at times that you need to shake up your writing environment – sit on the patio, get out of the house and check out the new coffee shop.
- Break it down. No, I’m not talking about dancing – although for some people simply getting up and moving around can shake ideas loose. What I really mean is break your project into smaller bite-size chunks. Don’t think, “I have to write A BOOK!” Think, “I need to write the chapter titles for my book,” or “I’d like to write chapter one for my novel,” or “I should spend an hour researching similar books on the market and determine the demographics and need for my particular book.” Smaller bite-sized morsels are less intimidating than an entire project.
Remember, there will be days when you simply cannot create whether it’s due to internal or external forces; on those days give yourself permission to simply take a day off and start fresh the next morning.
What steps do you take to get your projects completed?