Monday, March 2, 2020

Do You Struggle with Writing Procrastinating?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love writing. And I love talking about writing.

Sitting around with other writers, discussing all things literary is one of my favorite things. It’s one of the reasons I love attending writing conferences.

But there are people we know who like talking about writing so much that’s all they do. They join writers groups, critique groups, even take classes. 
The one thing they don’t do is write.

Unfortunately, this problem of avoidance can happen to any of us.

Writing is hard work. Avoiding it is often easier than just sitting in the chair and banging out words. There comes a time though, when we have to just quit procrastinating, sit in the chair and write.

Today I’m going to share some things I do when I’m tempted to do anything but write. 
  • Set a goal. I play games with my goals. Sometimes I’ll set a time goal—I’m going to write for an hour—no matter what. Sometimes I’ll set a word count goal—I’m not going to get up until I’ve written 1000 words.
  • Set a reward. I try to avoid food related goals, but truthfully, nothing helps the words flow like the promise of chocolate. However, the promise of a new pair of shoes after turning in a big project also works for me!
  • Break it into manageable pieces. Don’t tackle a hard goal all at once. Break it into small manageable bits. This will help you see the progress.
  • Turn on the music. For me, music (instrumental—no words) helps me get in the groove.
  • Change the scenery. When I hit a wall, it helps to go around it—literally. If I’m in my office, I may move to the dining room or even the back porch.
  • Turn off the Internet. Or at least log off your social media. It’s tempting to ask for support or commiseration on Facebook, but it can lead to conversation. And the only words you need are the ones that show up on the page.
  • Schedule a Write-in. Get a friend or two and hold each other accountable. If you can’t meet in person, get together online, through Skype or a Google Hangout.
  • Throw up on the page. NO, not literally. But I’ve found that sometimes I have to write junk before I can get to the good stuff. So go ahead and write crap, get it out of the way and keep going. Chances are there is something useable in it.

Now I’d like to hear from you. What tricks have you found to keep yourself in the chair banging out words?

Do You Struggle with Writing Procrastinating? - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website,  through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


  1. Edie,

    Thank you for the honesty and insights in this article. It's rarely discussed but true: writing is hard work and getting the stories out of your head and into the computer or paper and getting them in good shape to publish takes time and effort. Doing it well is hard. From interviewing many bestselling authors, the majority set a word count goal and are committed to sitting in their chair with their fingers writing until they reach it. Meeting that word count goal day after day is one of the best ways I've found to get the book written.

    Get a FREE copy of the 11th Publishing Myth

  2. Love this message! Great tips for keeping me in the chair and continuing to write. There will always be excuses for not finding time to write. I will put away those excuses and write, write, write. I will go to Him first and ask for guidance, strength and the desire to share words He has given.

  3. Great suggestions Ms. Edie. I think it happens to all of us from time to time. Perhaps it's happening to me right now as it's taken me all day to read this writing blog. :-) Thanks for the kick in the pants ma'am.

  4. So helpful as I try and get back on track in the midst of still caregiving for Greg’s dad. Great suggestions!!! Thanks for sharing these tips Edie😊