Today, I am reminded of a quote from Dan Greenburg: “Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance.”
One source of my writing avoidance is Tiger Boots III, my darling little cat who’s turning 15 years old this spring. He is snoring very loudly in the next room as I write this. He likes to eat potato chips, turkey, and all types of bread (which explains his impressive girth).
However, the culprit for this morning’s procrastination was Pippin. He puked in the window this morning, which you can imagine was terribly distracting.
With or without cats, writers are some of the most accomplished people in the art of not writing. Procrastination is the bane of any kind of creative writing, and has been responsible for many unfinished novels piling up in a writer’s files.
There are several creative writing tips that can help you get over a tendency to procrastinate. Different techniques work for different writers, so keep experimenting until you find something that helps you keep writing.
- Set aside a specific time every day for writing and hold yourself to the schedule.
- Outlining works for many writers, and to-do lists can also help. That’s how I managed to finish my first NaNoWriMo novel as a full-time university student.
- Try to keep your focus on the reward. Think of it this way: if you wrote just one page every day for a year, you’d have a 365 page novel by the end of the year. If you wrote two pages a day, you could have two novels of that length, or time to edit the one novel.
- Get away from the Internet. I’m aiming this one at myself more than any one else. Since I do most of my writing on the computer, I’m always tempted to check Facebook, e-mail, or watch Maru on YouTube (see! a cat’s the problem again). Sometimes, I write on paper for this reason.
If you’re looking for more ways to get motivated, here’s a blog I stumbled across today that looks really good. It is appropriately called Procrastinating Writers. Just don’t spend so much time reading articles about writing that they become another way to procrastinate from actually writing.