Thursday, May 9, 2013

Common Writing Mistake: Procrastinating or Not Starting

Postponing any writing task is a habit that’s common to many writers (including me who often leaves this blog to rot). A couple of reasons come to mind as to why we keep holding off from starting to write something. In my case, I always use the excuse that the idea is already in my mind, that realizing it in written output only takes a few moments. Therefore, I ask myself why I should do it now when I can simply start later right before the deadline; I can finish it immediately anyway. That, truth be told, is actually an expectation and never a certainty. Some unforeseen problems may always arise and become impediments to completing my work.

CollegeHumor Procrastination

Besides overconfidence, writers also procrastinate because of getting overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a project, especially major ones. Some complain about suffering from writer’s block, which is the inability to start writing or continue an existing one. Similarly, some more might say they’re just passing the time until inspiration strikes them. Yet some others find it easier to do just about anything other than writing, eager to get distracted even on unproductive routines.

So, how do you overcome this common writing mistake of not starting? First off, get a pen and a piece of paper already (or open Word if you like to type instead)! You just have to start on anything. Just write whatever occurs in your mind. When a lot of text has been jotted down, you can organize them so that they follow a train of thought. Your initial output from this method may be mediocre in quality, but you can always review your work and rewrite. This is especially important for the beginning part of your writing since that’s what that catches the attention of readers and maintains their interest to continue reading your work.

Levels of Procrastination

Even if you also use my excuse that the idea is already inside your mind, you might still forget it. You might even regret that you did not jot your idea down, especially when it’s provoking, genuine, and mind-blowing. To put it short, anything in mind that comes relevant to your writing project, just write it somewhere!

And what about that spark of inspiration? To me, it’s rather an illusion. Such occurrence don’t just happen for no reason. In my opinion, inspiration is more like a sheer force of will to pull yourself together and write already. Even writing just one word is a good start. By then, all you need to do is think clearly and concentrate, trying hard to never be sidetracked by unrelated things. It’s you and you alone who can do this. Good luck!

Photo sources: CollegeHumor & Chibird