Sandra Orchard here. I’ve never thought of myself as a procrastinator until I became a contracted writer with deadlines and got stuck in the middle of a story that...
I had to finish.
If you’re in the same boat, here are proven ways to do it right.
P – Plan your day in minute detail to give you lots of items to cross off your to-do list.
R – Reread what you wrote the day before.
O – Optimize your work area for maximum productivity. Translation: tidy your desk.
C – Critique a friend’s latest scene, because after all, it might help you see how you got off track in your own story.
R - Revise everything you’ve written so far.
A - Ask 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 friends what they think should happen next.
S - Storyboard. It’s amazing the holes you discover in your story when you lay it all out on a big, bare wall. And even if you don’t, you can pass copious amounts of time, cutting out pretty colors of paper or jotting notes on multi-colored post-it notes.
T - Take a walk. If nothing else, you’ll get some much-needed exercise and rest your eyes from staring at a blank screen.
I - Internet – a guaranteed time-sucker that will make you feel productive at the same time. After all, you’ll be doing “research”, “marketing”, “networking”, and I’m sure you can think of a bunch more writing-related reasons to hang out there.
N - Nap. When you push too hard to be creative, the right side of your brain, muse or whatever you want to call it, shuts down. Coax it to come out to play by shutting down the analytical/critical side of your brain.
A - Annoy telemarketers. C’mon, they always seem to call right when you’re in the middle of madly typing out a great idea, right? So it’s only fair that when you have no ideas you keep them talking and talking and talking until an idea shows up.
T - Take a shower. Ideas always come in the shower.
I - Invest in a new How To Write Blah, Blah, Blah book. It doesn’t matter that you’ve already written and published half a dozen books. You’re bound to learn something. And if you’re learning something, you won’t be feeling guilty about not writing…right?
O - Outline. And for the seat-of-the-pantsers here who get hives just reading the word, use chalk and outline the dead fly bodies on your window sill. If you’re a suspense writer, it’s bound to kick start an idea.
If there are no dead fly bodies on your window sill, then you’ve obviously been procrastinating your writing by cleaning the house. But cleaning the house can hardly be classified as doing something writing-related and therefore justified as a valid mode of procrastination. But hey, if you’d like to come over to my house and procrastinate a little more, I have dust bunnies the size of Harvey.
N - Nourish the mind, body and soul. Dark chocolate and praise music work well.
I hope I’ve helped make your procrastinating time more enjoyable. If you’d like to procrastinate some more, check out Blind Trust, the newest book in my Port Aster Secrets series, which also happens to be on sale for a real steal at all E-retailers for one more week!
Here’s what Booklist had to say about Blind Trust in their May issue:
Blind Trust finds Kate Adams still reeling from her friend’s murder as she attempts to get her life back in order. However, what begins as a seemingly small-time counterfeit operation soon spirals into something much bigger, with Kate at the center. Detective Tom Parker has his eye on Kate, and not because she’s a suspect. His feelings for her continue to grow, as does his desire to protect her, but Kate’s determination to get to the truth on her own means that Tom is often getting her out of trouble, rather than keeping her from it. When the action shifts from mere counterfeiting to poisoning, theft, and decades-old secrets, Kate insists on researching her way to the facts. Orchard infuses romance with suspense and keeps the excitement coming page after page. Readers will love the ever-deepening mystery as Kate extends her investigation and finds herself and her long-dead father tangled up in an international corporate conspiracy.
Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning Canadian author of inspirational romanticsuspense/mysteries with Love Inspired Suspense and Revell. An active member in ACFW, The Word Guild, and RWA, she enjoys helping writers hone their skills. To find out more about her novels, and to read interesting bonus features, please visit www.sandraorchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard
Your Turn: What's your favorite way to procrastinate?
Deadline Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net