Thursday, May 16, 2019

How to Overcome Procrastination by Sherrinda Ketchersid

I am the world’s worst procrastinator. Seriously, I am. I’ve been procrastinating writing this post by taking the dog out (again), cleaning the kitchen (what?!), and checking my email (for the 100th time today). Can anyone relate?

Procrastination is really just a form of fear.

We fear that our work will not be good enough. We fear that we will be exposed as an “imposter” posing as a writer who knows what she is doing. But if we are honest with ourselves, we would realize we are hardest on ourselves—our own worst critic. I know this is true for me.

Sometimes fear stems from not knowing what to write about. I struggle with this when I’m trying to think of something to blog about. I wonder what I have to say that would be of interest to others. I suppose that is another example of the “imposter syndrome”, but not knowing what to write about can be paralyzing.

How do famous authors combat procrastination? Check out these authors and what they do to get themselves writing:

• Victor Hugo – His procrastination got so bad he stripped and made his servant hide his clothes. This forced him to stay at home and focus on writing.
• Haruki Murakami – He swims 1500 meters every morning to wear out his nervous energy so he can focus on his work.
• Douglas Adams – His procrastination was so bad a friend stayed with him to keep him writing.
• William Gibson – He incorporated naps into his routine so that when he awoke, he would be fresh and ready to write.
• Maya Angelou – She would go to a hotel and have all distractions and stimuli removed from the room so she could focus.
• Friedrich Schiller – He let apples rot in his desk drawer, saying he couldn’t write without the stench.

What can we learn from these authors who found a way to deal with procrastination?

• Do something to get your mind and body able to focus. Whether it is exercising or napping, do what allows your mind to clear and attend to the task at hand.
• Find an accountability partner. I know this helps me when I am under the gun to get a writing project finished. Having to tell someone at the end of the day how much I accomplished is a huge motivator for me.
• Find a new place to write. I know many writers who leave their house to write in a coffee shop, restaurant, or library. This gets them away from the mountain of chores and responsibilities at home.
• Instigate a ritual to signal writing time. For me, I like to light a good smelling candle and have a cup of coffee by my side. This signals my brain to get started and most of the time it works, though if it is a rainy day, I just want to read instead of write.

As a Christian writer, I have found that when I go to God with my procrastination—my fear of not being good enough or not being inspired—He manages to ease the way for me. He has given us the gift of words and we need to fan that gift into flame. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Don’t be timid. Do not be afraid. Don’t let procrastination rule your life. Just write from the heart. Write as you are led. Your words on the page will not be perfect the first go-around, but at least there will be words to work with and polish.

What do you do to combat procrastination? What writing quirks or rituals help you begin writing for the day?

Amazon Buy Link
Lord of Her Heart

He’s fighting for his future—she’s running for her life.

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite
of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are
determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only
way either of them survives.

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

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