The blog of an aspiring author, wending her way from first draft to edit, and hopefully to becoming not only agented but published. Can I get an agent by the end of the year? I certainly hope so! My name is Amy Goodwill, and the only way to get this done is to sit down, shut up and do it. Brain, fingers and keyboard. Nothing to it... right?

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Procrastination

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long period of time since my last post. My non-electronic life got very busy this month, and so writing another entry for this blog kept getting put off and put off until it's been a shameful 25 days since my last post. I'll try to do better.

In that vein, what better topic for a post than procrastination?

Procrastination - the writer's biggest enemy


I don't know about you, but I'm a terrible procrastinator. Given a choice between two things, one of which requires effort and the other of which doesn't, I will, unfortunately, tend to put off the work and do the fun thing instead. Whether that's catching up on my email, or my internet friends, or surfing around google looking at random things, it's all too easy to forget to do any writing at all.

Hence the problem. How can you ever be published if you never finish writing the goddamn book?

Answer: You can't. Nobody will publish half a book (unless, of course, you are F. Scott Fitzgerald, the book is The Last Tycoon, and you happen to die halfway through writing it.)

How do we fight against procrastination? The answer, unfortunately, seems to be poorly for me, at least at the moment. I'm working up to getting myself back into a routine of writing, but it's hard to get back on when you've fallen off the horse. I used to write 1000 words a day, minimum, and keep going until I had done it, because that was the discipline I set myself. And it worked. Now I've just got to do it again.

Try setting yourself a target for each day, no matter how big or how small, and just sit down and do it. It doesn't have to be wordcount - it could be time spent, for instance. Try setting yourself a target of writing for ten minutes every day. It's a small enough amount of time that you should be able to find it in there somewhere, and small enough not to be discouraging.

Let's try to battle procrastination. Let me know if you have any suggestions, too, as I'd love to hear them!

Now, where did I put that game...

1 comment:

Eamon said...

I finished my first (children's) book recently (now rewriting it). I find that you should write even if you are feeling quite dry. Because the more you write the quicker things go back to normal. It is, also, during these dry moments when the writing may be rubbish that you come up with some of your best ideas for characters, plot, style, voice and so on.

So the best advice I can give is just to sit down and write, write (and enjoy).