Do you find you keep putting off writing in favor of something else?
Cleaning, browsing Facebook, organizing closets… anything except writing?
I’m the queen of procrastination and I’ve even wondered if I have ADD and don’t know it.
I sit down to write and oh, there’s a new email… and oh, let’s check Facebook…rinse the coffee pot, put dishes in the dishwasher, the cat needs to be fed…I do anything and everything except glue my butt to my chair and write!
Writers Gotta Write
So here’s the thing about being a writer who doesn’t write.
We decide not to.
You tell people, “I should be writing but I’m not.
I’m busy with…(fill in the blank).”
But really, you’re not.
Let me explain.
The Ugly Truth
What all of us do, from one moment to the next is make choices.
Every minute of every day, we’re making decisions about what we will do, based on what matters most.
Maybe this morning you woke up thinking, I’m going to write that article for that blog and then I’m going to write a query for that magazine and hopefully, I’ll update my website.
So, you jump out of bed and you’re ready to get down to the business of writing.
The phone rings, emails come in, Facebook teases…relatives are in town…right?
You had good intentions and things just got in the way.
But did they?
We always make time for the things we want to do and we don’t make time for the things we don’t.
That’s the bottom line.
So What Can We Do
Often, we make choices unconsciously.
We are creatures of habit.
Have you ever told anyone, “Yes, I never miss an episode of [insert your favorite TV show here].”
If you have, then it’s time to bring your choices up to the level of your consciousness and start thinking about how you spend your time.
It’s been said that you don’t become a writer or aspire to be one.
You either are a writer, or you aren’t.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s NOT the thought that counts.
It’s the action.
If you’re never making time to write, it’s because deep down, you don’t really want to write.
Or at least, you don’t want to write bad enough.
That may sound harsh but it helped me to face my demons and realize that someone else wasn’t going to hold my hand and lead the way for me.
As freelance writers, we have to push ourselves constantly and consciously to write.
Schedule time on your calendar as a guide.
Schedule time for checking email and turn off notifications.
Only do things when the scheduled time comes.
I even schedule time to just kick back and read.
When a person first starts running, it’s a grueling task.
They have to push themselves out of bed every morning to run.
Eventually, they look forward to it and then they start to run faster and further.
Make yourself write.
Set aside the time to write and then write, write, and write some more!
Soon, you’ll find that it’s satisfying, fun, and even paying the bills!
The next time you hear yourself complaining that you are putting off your writing, remember it’s not procrastination.
It’s a choice.
Do It Now
There will never be a better time to write.
We are never promised tomorrow.
If it matters, make time.
Do what you really want to do with your life.
I have a blog post about my struggle with procrastination Here. Check it out.