Dealing with Procrastination: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

Writing.ie | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers
Lucy O’Callaghan Really Useful pic

Lucy O'Callaghan

Procrastination can be an occupational hazard for a writer. It is something we do to ourselves, most of the time without reason, and it keeps us from our writing goals. If you understand why you are procrastinating, it will go some way to helping you deal with a way forward. I have put together some articles and podcasts about overcoming procrastination that I hope you will find useful.

  1. How to Overcome Procrastination as a Writer – Lindsay Elizabeth (lindsay-elizabeth.com)

This article from Lindsay Elizabeth discusses how procrastination and writing have been a pairing for as long as writers have been trying to convince themselves to write. By going deeper to the root of your resistance, you can not only understand the struggle, you can overcome it. Procrastination is usually due to a fear of failure, success, judgement/criticism, commitment, or falling short of our own expectations. By understanding what is fuelling your fear and manifesting into procrastination, you can identify it and hear it out. This is the first step to taking back your power. Journal what you are afraid of. This is all about the process of excavating what’s in your subconscious mind and working through it. Next, challenge your fears. Are the beliefs that are supporting your fears true? This article also advises you to stop waiting for inspiration to strike, get clear on your why, create a ritual, and get rid of distractions. It discusses each in turn and provides questions for you to ask yourself.

  1. 6 ways to overcome procrastination and beat writers’ block – Publishing Talk

We all procrastinate but you can overcome it and beat writer’s block with practical strategies Just because our procrastination can be defined doesn’t mean you are defined by it. At heart, all procrastinators value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards. There has to be a change in mindset so your present self acts in the interest of your future self. This article from Publishing Talk shares 6 ways to overcome procrastination and blocking. These include scheduling, rewards, environment design, mental clutter, free writing, and accountability. It tells you to set yourself up for writing productivity by saying no to procrastination. Questions to ask yourself are also provided.

  1. Procrastination – The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (unc.edu)

The Writing Center begins its article with a great quote from Mary Heaton Vorse: ‘The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.’

Everyone procrastinates. Putting things off – big or small – is part of being human. When your procrastination leaves you feeling discouraged and overburdened, however, it is time to take action. It discusses the reasons people might procrastinate before moving on to explore some strategies you might use to combat your procrastination tendencies. Taking an inventory of when and how you procrastinate, creating a productive environment, challenging your myths, breaking down your writing project, getting a new attitude, asking for help, getting unblocked, and making yourself accountable are just some of the suggestions discussed. Experiment with whichever of these strategies appeals to you; if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else.

  1. Writing Procrastination: What’s Stopping You and 3 Simple Steps to Get Back to Your WIP (thewritepractice.com)

A key trait of being a writer is procrastinating. In this article, you can learn three reasons why you might allow procrastination to stop your writing progress, as well as a simple, three-step method to overcome whatever is doing that. The three reasons you might procrastinate are because you’re scared, you’re stuck, or you’re bored. The three-step method to overcome is to set a deadline for finishing a writing project. By doing this you’re telling yourself to do it. You are keeping yourself accountable. Break down your weekly milestones from your finishing deadline. This makes it into smaller, manageable goals. Adding all of these to your calendar is the most important part as it will help to keep you accountable.

  1. 27 Ways to Beat Writer’s Procrastination – Word Counter Blog

Procrastination can usually be cured by honing your awareness of the problem, using your common sense, and employing good time management skills. Word counter shares twenty-seven ideas to help you overcome your procrastination habit. Some of these include, not waiting for perfect conditions, setting a timer, keeping a writing appointment; having someone check up on you, planning tomorrow before you quit today, practicing and learning, and getting over perfectionism.

PODCASTS

  1. Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast | Savannah Gilbo

Episode 134

Savannah Gilbo shares 5 productivity tips for writers.

  1. Episode 5: Dealing with writer’s block – Amie Kaufman

Annie Kaufman shares four suggestions to tackle procrastination and writer’s block.

  1. Home | Writing Excuses

Season 13 Episode 20

Emma Newman, author, audiobook narrator, and podcaster, joins this episode of Writing Excuses to discuss overcoming fear as a writer.

Accepting that procrastination can happen to all writers is one step in moving forward with dealing with it. There have been many suggestions in the above articles and podcasts about what you can do to avoid it or work through it. It isn’t a case of one size fits all so try a few different methods until you find what works for you. I hope you have found this week’s column helpful. As always, please get in touch if there are any topics you would like me to cover.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, her debut novel, The Lies Beneath is out now, published by Poolbeg.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all of the latest from writing.ie delivered directly to your inbox.

Featured books