Help! for Writers: Procrastination

Almost all writers procrastinate, and procrastination can take many forms. One writer daydreams, another eats, another walks, another checks email, another talks, talks, talks.

But what would happen if we viewed this period of delay as something constructive rather than destructive? Each act of procrastination can become a time of planning and preparation.

Here are some tips for turning “procrastination” into “rehearsal.”

  • Work on the story in your head in places where you cannot write, like the shower or the car
  • Make a list of three things you hope to accomplish in that day’s writing
  • Dictate the story: into your phone, a screencast, a recorder
  • Promise yourself a reward ― a nice cup of coffee ― after your first hour of writing
  • Create a reliable, comfortable place to write
  • Begin writing much earlier than you think you can to see what else you need to learn

Taken from Help! for Writers, a self-directed course by Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark at Poynter NewsU.

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    Vicki Krueger

    Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager.

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