Don’t Think, Just Write!

If you’ve done the proper amount of research on your topic, you know what your audience wants, and you know what you want to say, then taking action and starting to write should be simple and require no particular effort. Right?

Not quite. All writers know too well that sometimes this just isn’t the case. Getting down to the physical act of writing can take a lot of will power.

Almost everything else seems more attractive than starting to write.

How can we get ourselves to stop procrastinating and move straight to action?

Here are a few ideas that have worked for me:

1. Remember why you’re writing

Remind yourself what this chapter/blog post will do for you when completed. This action is taking you in a direction you want to go. Remember this objective and write it down at the top of your To Do list.

2. Just punch the damn keys

Just do it. Start punching those keys.

Don’t waste time and energy thinking about writing, and just write.

3. Remember that actions are finite

Anticipate the end. Once you’ve done it, it’s done, and it won’t have to be done again. So get on with it!

4. Ask someone to help you

Tell a peer, a friend, or your boss that it will be done by 3 pm. If they are a real friend, they’ll drop by a while before the deadline to check that you have started.

5. Tell a large number of people you’ll do it

Trap yourself. If you’ve made a commitment to a lot of people then the shame of saying you didn’t try will outweigh the effort of doing it.

6. Location, location, location

Write in a pleasant place – a favorite coffee shop or library or a room overlooking the sea. Whatever it takes: wear favorite clothes or special socks – just like athletes do!

7. Do nothing else

Allow yourself to do nothing else until you’ve completed your chapter/paper/article.

The important thing is that there should be a space of time, say four hours a day at least, when a professional writer doesn’t do anything else but write. He doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, not write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks. Either write or nothing. – Raymond Chandler

Different things work for different people and in different circumstances. What works for you?

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8 thoughts on “Don’t Think, Just Write!

  1. I don’t have a problem writing, and adhere to the above strategy and more. Currently l am not even really allowed to write, due to a medical problem, well l am not not allowed to write, but they say it might not be prudent to write, right?

    I don’t believe in prudency with regards my writing, l just believe in writing.

    Does that actually make sense? I have to ask , due to the medication which is here to say ‘don’t write!’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually do not know why I am writing… I think it is just to share… kind of throw what I have up against the wall of the world and see what sticks… and maybe none of it will, and that is fine. Do I want to be a blog rockstar? of course. who doesn’t.. but if I am not ? just as well, maybe my message is not as amazing as a I thought. let the world separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Number #7 is definitely the one that works for me. No matter how much I want to do anything else, I’m not ‘allowed’ to until I finish my planned writing. It doesn’t matter if it is taking a shower, having breakfast or going out for dinner with friends. I have to write, and then I can do whatever I want.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Midlife Creativity and commented:
    So, I’m beginning to be quite a fanboy of The Art of Blogging. This article has seven great suggestions for getting down to writing, but one stuck out as particularly helpful.

    The quote by Raymond Chandler in the seventh suggestion hits home regarding the importance of making the time set aside to write FOR WRITING!

    I have a few hours today to give this a go. First I’ll turn off my Wifi. Since I use Scrivener, I can shut out all the other apps on my computer. I’ll get my coffee ready, leave my phone and iPad in another room and get down to work.

    If I’m not writing, outlining, drafting character descriptions or anything specific to moving the project forward, then I’ll probably just stare at the wall (I’m not sure my balance is good enough to stand on my head).

    Hopefully some of these suggestions can make your writing time more productive, too.

    Like

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