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

  1. Like sex, or riding a bicycle, the more you work at it the better you get. Can you imagine not ever riding a bicycle or having sex? Feel the same way about writing and the words will flow from the tips of your fingers like sweet nothings whispered into the ear of your lover.

    And never feel shame for, or about, your writing, if you write your feelings, honestly and with a sense of pride, people will recognize it and, best of all, read your writing. What a great feeling that is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. Good observations. Hmm… i, Shiro probably mainly no.2+7. My Online Time is limited. So i Prep Write Notes in Lunch-Breaks at Work or in Traffic homebound. Then pad out the Notes later online. Thanks for the Ideas. Motivation too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I write whenever I feel like writing because I never know when an idea or inspiration will strike me. The only amount of planning I ever do is writing a few notes in my little notebook for blog posts, but that’s really it.

    Liked by 1 person

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