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“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
—Henry David Thoreau

What is it that holds us back from being productive? There are plenty of excuses and I’m sure if we sat down and thought about it, we could come up with more than the ones listed below. We’re writers; we tend to distract ourselves from the task at hand and quickly hop from one topic to another and completely miss the topic we intended to land on.

Let’s look at the common causes. What are they?

Fear – The idea of putting yourself out there for others to judge, critique and ridicule.

Perfection – The concept that everything has to be just right in order to write.

Timing – It’s not the right time to write.

Overthinking – A combination of fear, perfection, timing and believing we have it done in this moment.

Writing is a process. It is the one activity that we truly introduce ourselves to our self. When we clutter our minds with fear, the need for everything to be perfect before writing and insisting that we have to write now, we place huge boulders in the current of flowing words.

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What if our procrastination is our imagination’s way of telling us the timing is not right? What if that perfect sentence is still being formulated deep in the recesses of your mind? How do go around the boulder in the river of words?

Creative Ways To Inspire The Writer’s Mind

  • Go for a walk
  • Be in nature
  • Journal
  • Take a shower
  • Listen to music
  • Eliminate distractions (turn off social media notifications is a great example)
  • Get your blood flowing (hiking, biking, walking the dog, go for a drive are some examples)
  • Play with your children (or grandchildren)
  • Change your environment (take your laptop to another location)
  • Read a book
  • Clean the kitchen cabinets
  • Bake cookies (and eat when you’re inspired to write)
  • Yoga
  • Be artistic (paint, sew, knit, make jewelry)
  • Put together a puzzle
  • Sit by the water
  • Fold the laundry in the heaping basket

Look at the list again. Is this a list of the things you do instead of writing as a form of procrastination?

There’s a fine line between what distracts us and inspires us. It’s all in the mood we’re in and how we interpretation the activity in this very moment.

In the comments below, add more ideas how we can alleviate procrastination.

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  1. Funny, I’ve done lots of those recently, especially crochet which, after doing it for over 50 years, suddenly became more of a chore than a pleasure. With each stitch, I kept thinking of new plot ideas and edits for my new book. That should be a wake up call all by itself, but the clincher was that I kept dropping stitches and had to keep ripping things out. Put away the yarn and got out my journal instead. P.S. Today’s procrastination/inspiration is homemade vegan mac and cheese!

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