I've been working on the study guide for a new program, "The Clear, Focused Book Writer: Get Your Story Out of Your Mind and Onto the Page." (More info coming soon). The writing process has me thinking a lot about procrastination and the reasons we don't write. You know I think procrastination has little to do with a lack of discipline. It has more to do with the way we feel.
Think about it. Over time procrastination feels bad, like failure, laziness or some kind of character flaw. Like stagnation. From that place of yuckiness (because, really, that's what it is), it's hard to do anything.
To put an end to procrastination, I think we need to find a way to feel good about writing. To foster a sense of joy or possibility... however it is we want to feel when we write. But to make room for those new feelings we need to get rid of the sticky ones. We need to understand what's under all that procrastination:
~ Maybe we feel afraid because we want our book to be great but we don't know if our talent measures up.
~ Maybe we feel hesitant because we know our book is good, but the publishing world feels like a mystery.
~ Maybe we feel deflated because other writers seem to be so much better than us.
When we can identify the underlying feeling, we can take an important step toward releasing procrastination. We can ask ourselves, "Do I need to feel this way, or can I take steps to let this feeling go?"
When you work on releasing the bad feelings, you can do the next, most important thing: figure out what you can do to feel good about your writing. Reach out to someone you trust to read your work. Find an inspirational resource on publishing. Write without worrying what other writers are doing, even if it means lighting candles and saying prayers.
Creativity and writing aren't always easy. They're not always linear. But they don't have to make you feel bad. This week, look for the good.
This post is a reprint from the WritingStrides Newsletter, out on Tuesdays. Subscribe to receive insights like these, including my new events & opportunities and writing activities.