If you’ve watched the movie, Under a Tuscan Sun, then you’ll recall the line at the beginning about Frances’ approach to procrastination. And all writers, even the most prolific ones experience bouts of procrastination. And what if there are reasons for procrastination?
Often, writers punish themselves making the procrastination worse. Believe it or not, guilt won’t heal your situation. Here are 5 reasons why we feel stranded in the middle of a desert when our goal is to complete a story or a novel.
- We don’t have enough information. For instance, I’m currently writing my first YA novel and I am suffering a bad case of procrastination. I realized that I need to research the music, the culture, the language, and everyday lives of young adults. And I need to research ancient kingdoms in West Africa as well as, the dance world. Once I delve into this research I will feel inspired to write again.
- Fear. We fear the changes that completing the novel will bring to our lives. Or we fear the changes that writing a novel brings to our life. We fear that others won’t approve of us spending time on our own pursuits.
- We don’t actually want to commit to writing a novel. Perhaps, a life as a novelist is not our dream but the dream of another family member or friend. Or perhaps, we are only writing a novel to prove something to ourselves. If we don’t write for the right reasons then procrastination is telling us that this is not our true path at this time.
- We need to hone our writing skills first by taking classes and workshops. We need to improve our grammar and learn tools for writing a novel. Many people think that they can just write the Great American Novel, when in fact, any published novelist will tell you that it took years, even decades to arrive at their success.
- And finally, the timing is off. We have family to take care of or we work long hours at a that leaves us exhausted. For people who have taken the traditional approach and work a regular 9 to 5 job, perhaps, it will be easier to become a novelist after you retire (and many writers have taken this route).
If writing a novel is your number one priority then do your research. Take workshops and classes to launch you in the right direction. Sit down each day for a set amount of time and write. And if this doesn’t work for you, then try Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way program. Or attend a writers conference (although they are pricy).
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