Showing posts with label Writing and Procrastination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing and Procrastination. Show all posts

Friday, July 17, 2015

Midsummer's Nightmare



Yes, you heard me right - write! As I'm putting together this post I'm realizing that the summer is at a midpoint, and my writing goals for the year are not.

While under the best of circumstances summer is a distraction - vacations, visitors and all, this summer has undermined me in an unexpected way. I rise each morning, eager to begin the day, only to find the minutes and hours creeping by without me sitting my behind in the chair - which we all know is the secret to getting the job done. So what to do when this occurs?

1. Join an accountability or critique group: Becoming accountable to others can help with keeping you on track with your goals. In the past I've belonged to critique groups who have encouraged me to submit pages weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. An accountability group may be more diverse in its makeup - some will be attending hoping to improve their home business, while others may be looking to just improve their marketing skills. Either type of group can be beneficial depending upon where you are finding the challenge currently.

2. Set strick limits with family & friends: Writing time may need to be scheduled and committed to by not only you, but by those you love as well. Schedule yourself "out" as you would if you had an important commitment, because it is important.

3. Turn off the phone, don't check Facebook or your email: Internet distractions can undermine your ability to be creative and productive. Telephone calls are really only an excuse to not do the job needing to be done.

Midsummer, mid year 2015 - now is the time to review your yearly goals and gain control over your writing.


____________________________________
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Serieswas written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception.The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Using Bookends to Overcome Procrastination


If and When were planted, and Nothing grew.” ~Proverb
Procrastination………….who me? I know how to get things done; I also know how to procrastinate. As a writer, sometimes procrastination has to do with feeling lost in a project, other times it’s about not being satisfied with a draft.  Personally, I'm pretty disciplined with my writing time, but I can procrastinate for months when it comes to sending a draft off to an agent or editor.  After having my 900 word manuscript accepted by a magazine, the editor sent it back to me asking that I further develop the topic.  I quickly added the info requested and sent it back.  The editor responded with ..."tell me more."  Again, I added another section and resubmitted the manuscript.  I was sure I was done with the manuscript.  The editor responded with highlighting another section  and once again said..."tell me more".  Frustrated and not sure what she wanted, I put the manuscript down for three months.  When I finally finished the manuscript it was almost 3,000 words.  I was sure too much time had elapsed and the editor would no longer be interested, but with the next submission to the editor, I received my contract for publication.   Fortunately, my procrastinating didn't cost me the contract, but it certainly raised my angst about the project.
Now when I find myself procrastinating I apply bookends to the project.   Once I decide what I'm gong to work on, I schedule it and plan a pre and post project incentive. It’s my bookends. I treat myself or do something I enjoy prior to starting the project and again when I finish it. Sometimes, it’s something small like a trip to Starbucks before doing research on a project, other times it’s a day at the zoo or the art institute. Why do bookends work? I think because the first bookend marks it’s time to start and then the last bookend acknowledges the accomplishment. Sometimes the bookend at the end is something that I’m really dying to do or is time sensitive. This gives me the added push to slug through until I’m finished. So if you find yourself procrastinating, try bookends.
Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:

http://facebook.com/DoNorth.biz  



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beating Procrastination and Increasing Productivity

 Procrastination by definition is the act of avoiding an action or activity. It can creep in when you least expect it taking up valuable writing and marketing time. Spring is one of the worst times for me when procrastination hits full force. After all, there are windows to clean, yard work to do, Easter to plan, sunshine to enjoy and the list goes on. There will always be "things that need doing" or "places to go" but what about the writing time? And marketing and promoting is one of those activities that I definitely procrastinate at. So how to beat procrastination and increase productivity while still enjoying time to do other things becomes a life skill necessary for writers to master?


Schedule writing and marketing activities first. That may sound easy but I am sure you will agree that it is anything but. The act of putting writing/marketing time on the daily calendar is the first step but it takes discipline to stick to the plan. Although the calendar is not written in stone, it helps to make it a practice to follow a schedule. That being said, avoid over scheduling. Making an unreasonable plan of action will lead to more procrastination and a backlog of work.


Set Goals. Setting goals has been a lesson for writers in every genre. While authors may disagree about outlines versus story arcs, character sketches versus writing free form, or the importance of theme versus plot most agree that setting goals for a successful writing career is invaluable. The key is to  make them attainable and to revisit them often to test your progress.


Rest. Students get a spring break to rest, take a break, and to rejuvenate for the remainder of the school year. It is usually a rest period from sports practices, testing, and homework. Writers need the same kind of break. Schedule not only a rest period for the story or article you have written so you have a clear eye to revise, but schedule a rest from writing altogether. It may be only a day or even a few hours but take time to get clear away from the act of writing and marketing and enjoy something different. Here is where you can do that gardening, window washing, or shopping with the grand kids. Take advantage of rest periods and notice how fresh your work looks when you get back to it.


Look honestly at the activities which cause more procrastination than others. Usually those are the types of things that you don't like to do or that make you uncomfortable. For me, it is definitely the marketing or promoting myself. For others it might be the business side of writing, tax and record keeping, or even the research. Schedule those activities that you don't enjoy but are necessary first. Get them over with so you can move on to the writing and creating, the one activity all of us love to do.


Scheduling the tasks in a manageable order and allowing reasonable increments of time to accomplish each item will help beat procrastination and increase productivity. Target each task towards a specific writing goal and those action steps will lead to success.


Happy writing and Happy Spring!



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Five Challenges Writers Face


Now that I have your attention. Everyday, writers face challenges that keep them from the page. 

1. Distractions: These can include telephone calls from friends, those emails in your inbox, or the fox that crosses the yard in front of the window of your work room. Limiting distractions is something every writer must learn to control. I remember speaking to a writer and hearing how whenever anyone flew into town, they called him to pick them up at the airport, after all, he was just sitting around at home. Teach those around you that your writing time is valuable and a job that you take seriously. Then train yourself to quickly clean your inbox and keep focused on the page.

2. Fear: We all face fear at sometime in our life, whether it's related to our writing or driving in an unknown city. The best way to deal with fear is to move forward and get your thoughts on the paper. Later it can be edited by you or the professional you hire. Don't worry about grammar or format, worry that you can't type fast enough to get it all down and keep going. 

3. Negativity: I remember someone asking me, "Don't all writers only have one book in them?" "No," I snapped. "The saying is everyone has one book in them. Writers have multiple books, several poems and a number of screen plays." If only I had time to flesh out all the story lines that cross my path. Remove yourself from those who tell you it can't be done, and instead surround yourself with positive thinkers.

4. Procrastination: Putting off until tomorrow what can be done today is not the way to live your life as a writer. Writing is hard work and it requires effort. Don't put off your writing project, instead sit down now and get started.

5. Perfectionism: So you finally get your story down and then you go back and edit and change and edit and change and edit and change. Perfectionism can stop a writer cold. Of course, you can always find a slightly better word choice, it's just that at a certain point in time you need to move on. 

Don't let the five challenges stop you from achieving your dreams. Instead, sit down and get to it. 

_______________________________

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook

How to Write Vivid Scenes, Part I, by Chris Eboch

Prolific children's and adult author, Chris Eboch Author/editor Chris Eboch has her foot in two worlds: children’s literature, as Chris ...