You’re on a roll. You have written five pages a day on your novel. Or you have stayed on schedule with your submissions and pitches. But then an illness strikes and you experience bedrest for two weeks. And then, the procrastination returns.
Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up. Find ways to get back in the groove such as editing a flash fiction story or rewriting a poem. Start small. And then return to your calendar and make adjustments for page and word count for longer work. Or return to your submission calendar.
If you missed deadlines then scratch those journals or contests off your lists. And find new ones to enter (a Google search pulls up blogs with lists of literary journals and agents).
Here is a no-no list:
- Hang out on social media or watch the YouTube video stream for an hour+
- Watch television
- Shopping for things you don’t actually need
- Gorging on sugary foods (which leads to exhaustion and a non-productive day)
- Texting or talking on the phone (instead of writing)
- Over-cleaning the house
- Helping others to avoid writing
Here is a to-do list:
- Edit or proofread a short piece
- Write a poem or flash fiction
- Research a topic or person for your story
- Read magazines on the writing craft
- Read books on the writing craft
- Take a writing workshop
- Join a writing group (that does timed writing exercises)
- Join an editing group
- Visit a blog for writers
- Make a list of agents
- Make a list of editors or publishers
- Research writers conferences
- Attend a writers conference
- Go for a walk and take your camera
- Spend time with a writing buddy
- Clean up your submission database
Feel free to add other enriching experiences to this list.
Once you get back on a schedule (and remember to take breaks to eat lunch and walk the dog), the procrastination monster return as often. Pat yourself on the back knowing that you have taken responsibility for your destiny as an author.
I am an author and a creativity coach who uses metaphysical tools. Contact me for a session at wholemusicexp at gmail.com My fees start at $100 an hour.