Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Break Anxiety/Procrastination Mode

You're there. At that pivotal scene where lots of big, important, mind-blowing stuff happens that all your readers will love. And everything's set, and everything's awesome can't write it. Maybe you're on your first draft or maybe you're on your twentieth, but there's something about this particular scene, whether it actually is epic or is just the start of something that could be, that keeps you far away from your computer. We've all been there. Those moments when your thought process goes

"Hey, I should really write that scene."
         "Oh look! E-mails I need to send."

"Hey, I should really write that scene."
         "Oh look! Dust on the floor! Let's vacuum!"

"Come on, it's really time to write that scene now."
         "But I have to catch up with my DVR...and I kind of want to bake brownies...and if I make brownies, I'll probably eat one, and then I'll have to brush my teeth, and..."

Yeah. Sound familiar?

Well, recently, I found a way to get around this. Instead of creating an entire scene, which can be quite daunting, just write the dialogue for that scene. No tag lines. No exposition. No setting. Nothing else but talking. Write what feels right, whatever pops into your head that you can imagine the characters saying. As you do this, you will start to see actions and envision the setting, though you will not be writing them down. This way, once you have the dialogue on paper (or on Word), you will probably want to add all the things you've been imagining or will at least be more curious as to what happens next. This should, maybe, possibly, hopefully get the ball rolling.

Does this sound like something you'd be interested in? What types of things do you do to beat your procrastination?


  1. Nice! I like this hint. To beat procrastination, I limit the kinds of things I allow myself to do during writing time. It goes like this: it's writing time. I don't have to sit down and write, but if I don't, then it's housework time. Works like a charm, and occasionally my house gets clean.

    1. Mmm, nice. Beat procrastination on A by using something you're procrastinating even more. :-) Effective and mutually productive.

  2. I get this a lot. My technique is quite similar to yours. I just start writing. Usually it's stream of consciousnesses stuff. ie: I really should describe this character a bit more here. What does he look like?

    Yes, I actually write that in the document. Once I've started the words start to behave themselves.

  3. Hey, just found your blog. I found your blog through Ali - we get to be contributors together. Look forward to getting to know you better - new follower :)

  4. Hi Gina,

    Nice post! Procrastination even exists in my reading and reviewing!

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