Hi, my name is Kerry Schafer and I am a procrastinator.
There ought to be a group for that. Procrastinator’s Anonymous would be a brilliant idea, I think – except that nobody would ever show up. It’s unfortunate there’s no money to be made from this skill, because I could make a killing.
Housework? Right after I read this chapter.
Bills? I’ll get to it just as soon as I’m done writing this scene.
Groceries? I’m all over that, just let me post one last tweet.
A synopsis or blurb needs to be written? Um, yeah – I’ll get to that right after I clean the house, pay the bills, and go buy the groceries.
See how it works? And yet, somehow or other, I manage to get a lot of writing done. My secret to getting things accomplished has nothing to do with discipline. Let’s be honest – I suck at discipline in a very big way. I know full well what my strengths are, and that is not one of them. I am motivated though, and highly competitive. So I’ve learned to play to my strengths instead of my weaknesses when it comes to getting writing done.
I have two primary methods:
1) Keep an insanely busy schedule. I realize this may sound counter intuitive, but it’s true. Too much time on my hands is not healthy for me. On days when there’s not much going on and I wake up with that whole empty day spreading out before me, the procrastination bug bites hard. “I’ve got all day to write,” I tell myself. “I can afford to put it off a little.” So I putter. I twitter. I facebook. I read
just one chapter of a book. Take a nap. Go for a walk.
And bam – the day is over and not a single word got written.
But, if I wake up in the morning and I know that the only writing time I’m going to get is an hour before work and an hour during lunch – well, it turns out I can get a lot of words written in a couple of hours.
2) Have an accountability and/or sprint buddy. I like this one way more than number one. If I’ve got plans to meet somebody at 5 am, or 2 pm, or 6 pm, or whenever – then I need to show up. I’m not going to just leave somebody hanging around waiting for me, that would be rude and irresponsible. It’s amazing how the knowledge of a friend alone and forlorn on the other end of the internet can drag me out of a nice warm bed on a cold morning. Plus – I write really fast when I’m sprinting. It’s that competitive thing. I want to be able to report a great word count so I keep my fingers moving and refrain from those deadly forays into social media.
That’s about it for me. A busy schedule and a friend to write with.
What about you? How do you get yourself motivated to write, or to accomplish other goals?