And How to Start Up Again
by Aleisha Brooks
March 28, 2019
If there’s anything I know a lot about it’s procrastination and I have an honorary doctorate in Writer’s Block. Writers know how to put up barriers. I know because I’m a writer and I’ve put up some doozies in front of myself. There are reasons for the things we do to ourselves, but that’s a whole other subject. For now, let’s observe what they are and decide to defeat them.
- You decide to do something and then immediately, another mind of yours decides you cannot do it. Don’t listen to that mind. That is not you. You are infinitely capable of doing this.
- Bad timing and distractions. You decide you’re going to write but you know your favorite TV show is on now, or you’re supposed to be somewhere else soon.
- Or when you’re hungry or tired or have errands to run. Your mind is not on the writing exercise.
- You haven’t decided it’s time to write. If you’re not interested in it you will put yourself off for days. Decide this is what you want to do because when that decision is deep within you, you will sit down and write without distractions.
- If you don’t like the critique of others, take it too seriously and stop writing because of it. There is a right way to get critiques and a wrong way. The wrong way is to take every single detail of critiques from others and try to figure out how to “fix” your writing. The right way is to first take everything with a grain of salt and secondly, if the critique doesn’t make sense to you, you can either disregard it or see how it could make sense. Also, don’t take one person‘s word for it, get many advanced readers to talk to about it.
- If you’re lucky enough to have a good mentor, stick with it. One way writers stop themselves is to start disagreeing with the mentor, feeling that they’re challenging you too much, or giving you barriers. A good mentor is hard to find. Putting off your mentor, making him or her wait, or not staying in touch with him or her while writing, especially, if they have given you some steps to do, is detrimental to your future career. Writers with good mentors get somewhere and they get somewhere faster than those writers who are alone. Mentoring can be so valuable! Don’t give up on your mentor and don’t push them away either, because chances are, if you push them away they’re going to find someone else to mentor and that’s that person who’s going to do much better.
- You hate what you’re writing so you crumple up your paper and throw it away. This is a stop that I’ve experienced. Maybe you don’t like what you just wrote, maybe it is crap. But maybe there is something else to it. You can always take another look at it later. Maybe this is not the right time for this particular project or maybe it is crap and maybe it’s OK to just throw it away. But one tip is to keep your notes in a folder or binder so that you can always come back. It could be shit or it could spark an idea for another time. It’s also OK to throw it away and clean the slate.
- Start with a clear slate and a clear head. A brain without fog makes it a lot easier to work on things. If you have a hangover, sleep deprivation, or even have fought with a friend, you should try to clear your head and start fresh.
- This really should be number one. Negative self-talk! You know what you say to yourself matters because you will always be right! So let’s talk positively and be right!
- Falling off the wagon or getting involved with the wrong crowd. This may seem like a self-help issue, but honestly, you really need to kick to the curb any bad influences, vices, and leeches. Vicious bloodsuckers love artists. But they don’t elevate them, don’t kid yourself. Listening to negative people, trolls and naysayers, and people who aren’t there to build your dream will kill your creativity. Don’t associate, they’re not there to help you, no matter how much they scream “It’s for your own good.” You have more power and ability than you know, and others know it, which is why they try to bring you down to their level!
In Summary, this is your life, not mine, not theirs, not anyone else’s. Every decision is your responsibility and you must decide what you want. Because if you don’t decide, that’s still a decision. To not decide is to procrastinate and it leads to the inevitable, nothing. Be positive, make the decision, then take action. Every step toward your goal is a step in the right direction.