Learning to not procrastinate

It’s been over a month since I settled into my new home in the Bay Area, soaking up the sights and sounds of a colder, greener, bolder new surrounding. My idealistic self thought I would be constantly writing as I took public transit for my wonderful 45 minute commute to work each day as well as in the evenings when I return home.

What actually happened? I read books on my Amazon Kindle app, check Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter/Email, hold on for dear life as the BART awkwardly and noisily barrels across the bay, and then collapse in my bed eating a home-cooked meal (guess that’s where my time is going, but hey cooking is creative!) and watching the latest episode of my favorite TV show online. 

My writing has been in little spurts here and there, when I manage to exhale again and start thinking about that one story that I said I was supposed to be working on and should probably start again.

A good friend of mine shared a great article about procrastination as part of the creative journey and how to overcome the guilt and frustration.  The way I see it, reading and consuming TV shows are all part of my creative process and inspire me with new ideas and perspectives. There’s a lot that has to be thought out before you can jump into writing–basically it’s like research or observation! I can also say that I believe the time that I began to read less and less for fun was when I also began to abandon my regular writing schedule, so these two activities are clearly linked in my brain. Slacking on one means slacking on the other. 

I’m looking ahead to NaNoWriMo in 3 weeks and want to get myself “in shape” to meet a daily word count by finding times during my days to write even when I’m tired or have other distractions around. This year, I hope to finally “win” NaNoWriMo by meeting the monthly wordcount challenge, so I’m going to do everything I can to rearrange my schedule and focus on my story. I kind of want to work on the story I’m writing at this moment, but I don’t know if that’s technically cheating…I could just start counting from wherever I am in the novel once November starts, I guess?

Until then, I’m going to try posting more often here leading up to NaNoWriMo with fun writing advice, tips for surviving the month, being disciplined and how to approach novel writing specifically. There’s a lot to learn about novels and I’ve been gathering information ever since I got the crazy idea into my head to try and write one.

If you think you’re ready for the challenge and want to join me, make your public commitment and be sure to sign up!


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