Episode 043 – Writers vs Procrastination

On today’s podcast, I reveal why procrastination is not the villain it’s made out to be! Listen now or read on for my top tips on working with and around procrastination for a better writing life.

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Colourful infographic summary of article. Text reads:
Procrastination Insights: Not always detrimental; can indicate needs like rest or signal underlying story issues.
Understanding Procrastination: It’s an active choice, not laziness, often prompting necessary reflection or breaks.
Actionable Overcoming Steps: Break tasks into smaller steps, use the Pomodoro Technique for focused sprints, and alter your environment to refresh creativity.
Establish Routine: Start sessions with a simple ritual to signal writing time, enhancing focus.
Accountability and Rewards: Share goals for motivation and set personal rewards for achieving targets to maintain momentum.

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Welcome to Writer Roadmap, the podcast for writers seeking inspiration, guidance, and support on their creative journey. I’m Holly Lyne, and today we’re shining a light on an often-misunderstood aspect of the creative process: procrastination. Yes, you heard right—we’re diving into why procrastination isn’t the villain it’s often made out to be and how we can harness it or move past it to fuel our writing.

Procrastination is like that friend who always shows up unexpectedly. Sometimes, they’re a distraction, but other times, they bring insights or a much-needed break. Let’s explore how procrastination can be both a signal and a solution in our writing lives.

Why Procrastination Isn’t All Bad

Procrastination gets a bad rap. It’s seen as the thief of time, the enemy of productivity. But here’s a twist—procrastination can be a friend to creativity. It often signals something important: maybe you need to recharge, maybe there’s a flaw in your story you haven’t figured out yet, or maybe you’re about to take a risk, and your brain is saying, “Hold up, let’s think this through.”

Understanding Procrastination

First, let’s understand that procrastination is not laziness. It’s an active process—we choose to do something else instead of the task at hand. Sometimes, this detour is exactly what we need. It can be a way to refill our creative tanks, find inspiration in unexpected places, or simply give ourselves a moment to breathe.

Harnessing Procrastination

Listen to What It’s Telling You: If you’re consistently avoiding a particular task, ask yourself why. Is it fear, lack of clarity, or maybe a misalignment with your goals? Use procrastination as a tool for self-reflection.
Recharge Your Batteries: Sometimes, procrastination is your mind’s way of saying, “I need a break.”

Engage in activities that recharge your energy and creativity. Go for a walk, read a book, or dive into a hobby. You’ll often return to your writing with fresh eyes and renewed vigour.

Overcoming Procrastination with Actionable Steps

  • Break It Down: Large tasks can feel overwhelming. Break your writing goals into small, manageable steps. Instead of “write a chapter,” aim for “write 300 words.”
  • Set a Timer: The Pomodoro Technique is a fantastic way to beat procrastination. Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. It’s short enough to stay focused and ensures you get regular breaks.
  • Change Your Environment: A change of scenery can stimulate creativity and reduce the urge to procrastinate. Try writing in a new location or rearranging your workspace.
  • Establish a Routine: A small ritual to start your writing session can signal to your brain that it’s time to focus. Light a candle, play some music, or make a cup of tea—find something that works for you.
  • Accountability: Share your writing goals with a friend, a coach, or a writing group. Knowing someone else is cheering you on can be a powerful motivator.
  • Reward Yourself: Set up rewards for meeting your writing goals. It could be as simple as a coffee treat or an episode of your favourite show. Let anticipation fuel your productivity.

Remember, Navigators, procrastination isn’t a flaw; it’s a message. By understanding what it’s telling us and learning how to navigate it, we can transform procrastination from a stumbling block into a stepping stone.

If you’ve discovered your own unique ways of dealing with procrastination or have a story to share about how it led you to an unexpected breakthrough, I’d love to hear it. Join us in the community on social media or Discord and let’s share those moments of insight and triumph.

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of procrastination and creativity. Don’t forget to subscribe to Writer Roadmap and share this episode with someone who might find it encouraging. Until next time, keep writing, keep exploring, and keep navigating your path with curiosity and compassion.

Writer Roadmap intro and outro music used under license from Pixabay. Music track “Salangseuleoun” was Created by “Dayfox”.

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