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Archive for July 21st, 2008

You know what is the death of a writer? Aside from a lack of ideas, of course. Procrastination. I’ve spoken about this before. About how people claim they want to be writers but don’t make any real efforts in that direction. I think I know why. Or, at least some of the reasons why.

Routine: Writing, like any other job needs some kind of a discipline. Just because you are in a ‘creative field’ does not give you the license to slouch. As a professional writer you should be able to write at will. And a good way to do that is to write more. Everyday. Set a schedule and stick to it. Once you do that, you will find that it becomes easier. I took about eight months to write my first novel. I took six for my second one. I’m hoping the third one will be done in four.

Fear: One of reasons people procrastinate is that they don’t know enough about the subject. When asked to write about a subject they unfamiliar with, most writers experience a panic attack. This used to happen to me before. It still does, for instance when asked to write about various mobile telephony platforms or some such terribly geeky stuff, but only momentarily. Now I’m able to draw upon my vast experience – after all I have gotten myself out far worse writing scrapes – and realise that all it needs is a little bit of research and a line outline of what I want to write in the article. The rest is just organising.

I’m not in the right frame of mind: This is a little bit like point number one. It’s pure self indulgence. The only way to tackle it is to push yourself. You’ll realise that if you persist, the right frame of mind appears. Sometimes it can be chronic. Then I suggest you take a break. Watch a movie. Read a book. But be sure to come back to your writing and finish your mandatory 1,000 good words for the day.

Problem of plenty: When you sit down to write on something, you find your mind running in all different directions and all the other ideas you want to write on. The result is that you end up writing nothing. This happens to me a lot. But now I know how to get the noise out of the way. The way I handle it is to get all those other thoughts, out of my system by jotting them down in the morning pages. Then I’m free to begin my writing day.

Remember, success is only one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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