Have you ever found yourself staring at the clock while painfully trying to type a single paragraph for a writing project? Or do you lay awake in bed watching the clock knowing that a writing project is due by 5pm the next day?
Many writers are challenged by “analysis paralysis” and fret over every detail of their work until they are reduced to a page of few sentences and a mind over-loaded with thoughts and worries. In order to help my future authors overcome writer’s block, I have come up with a method to allow them to consistently focus on their creative content and reduce procrastination and “analysis paralysis”:
1Schedule a set time every day (or weekly) that you commit only to writing. No email. No research. Nothing but writing. Schedule no less than 1 hour and up to 3 maximum. This is an appointment that cannot be canceled or moved.
The only exception is an ambulatory emergency!
2Schedule a separate time for researching your topic. Collect all of your research and keep this information organized and accessible prior to your writing appointment. Therefore, when it’s time to write, you have what you need.
Many writers waste time looking for references and research and wear themselves out before they even get started.
3Make sure your writing space is free of distractions and inspires you to write (not daydream or think of your to-do list). If you work from home, use instrumental music or your favorite scented candles to create a “mood”.
Train your senses to know when it’s time to create. If you write in a public place such as the library or a coffee shop, you can use your headphones and music to drown out noise and get your creative senses stirred.
4Use the Pomodoro Technique® to break up large writing projects. Use a timer set for 25 minutes, and write until the timer stops. Then get up and take a 3 to 5 minute break. Once your break is finished, set the timer for another 25 minutes and repeat the process until you have done an hour or so of writing.
I have modified this, and I personally write for 45 minutes and take a 10-15 minute break. The key is to write for blocks of uninterrupted time. If a thought pops into mind during your writing time, jot it down on a separate “to-do” list so that you don’t stop your flow of creativity.
Tend to “to-do’s” when you have completed your writing appointment. No cheating!
5Establish project deadlines and give yourself time to research and write with time to spare for editing and publication! Knowing when things are due can help reduce your anxiety.
Keep a calendar of your project deadlines- in view at ALL times! -and you’ll be able to stay on top of important dates. Get an accountability partner or coach/mentor to check-in with in order to meet those goals.
I find that writer’s block disappears when you consistently research your topic prior to writing, when you consistently make time to write, and when your writing environment is organized and conducive to writing and creating.
Clutter, chaos, and last minute deadlines invite anxiety so keep your writing surface clear and tidy, your calendar in clear view daily, and have your research files within reach. If you have to get up to get to your files, you may end up in another room or aisle of the library “browsing”!
Here’s to your amazing productivity in 2015! Feel free to contact me for more writing tips or accountability coaching at Info@WriteThisWay.info.
About the Author: Melissa Weathersby, MBA, is an experienced self-published “authorpreneur” with an international following. Her first book- a faith-based, inspirational, “how-to” book- landed her on national speaking platforms such as the Trinity Broadcast Network and MegaFest 2013.Her book has landed in Canada; Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; The Philippines; Pakistan; India; Sri Lanka; South Korea; Moscow, Russia; Perth, Australia; Cardiff, Great Britain; London, England, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!
Disclaimer: As with any endeavor, there is no guarantee of the amount you will save by using these tips.
Each individual’s success depends on his or her knowledge, motivation, and actions, author seminar for aspiring authors called “Write This Way” and has written a workbook to help aspiring authors write, publish, and market their messages.
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