How to Break Away From Procrastination

How to Break Away From Procrastination

How to Break Away From Procrastination
Photo by Rennett Stowe

How to Break Away From Procrastination

What is it with people who want to achieve writing success but let things like procrastination get in the way?

Before I keep going, let me just make one confession: I have procrastinated and I have let things keep me from reaching my writing goals (and even from setting my writing goals).

I'm not special when it comes to a writer's life. But I have come to the realization that if I don't do what needs to be done, I'm going to be 50 years old with no major publishing credits under my belt, no books sitting on store shelves. I'll be just another writer who let things get in the way and who did what was easier.

It's hard work being a writer, baring our souls to others, letting others see into our minds and how our minds work. I'm a pretty private person; I prefer to keep things to myself. Writing for someone else (our readers) makes us vulnerable and open. Our thoughts and stories are criticized by people who have never felt the things we feel and people who have never written a story themselves.

We all know writing is hard. But if writing is something we're driven to do, we'll feel incomplete, frustrated, irritated, and overwhelmed when we realize that we let another year go by without accomplishing our goals.

Why do we make excuses? Because not writing is just plain easier. It's easier to chat with coworkers during our lunch breaks and to sit on the couch and watch TV when we get home. We settle for laziness at the time because we think we're too exhausted to focus on writing.

If you really want to write and you are serious about being a writer, you need to take a step up and take charge of your future, your writing goals, and your writing success. All the planning and hoping in the world won't do you a bit of good unless you take action and get those words down. Running them through your head isn't enough. You need to get them on the blank page.

Procrastinating and complaining and making excuses for why you can't write is fun. There's some sick pleasure we get out of being able to complain to others. But I'm going to be brutally honest here. That is a poverty mindset. If you aren't willing to do what it takes and if you don't take the necessary actions, get used to the idea of always being where you are right now. Say goodbye to your successful writing career. You'll never get there.

I know I'm being harsh, but someone needs to be. You're not a serious writer unless you break away from those excuses and you take charge of your actions. You're not a writer unless you're writing.

That doesn't mean you can't have struggles (we all do), but we need to get past the struggles, to push them aside and ignore them to not let them get in our way. It's the same for serious entrepreneurs. If they aren't succeeding, they aren't doing enough of the right things. They're not following a passion, or they're chasing money or they're not marketing themselves correctly or it could be all of the above.

So, step up and do the work that needs to be done. You're more than capable of doing it. And you'll get there if you want to, but you need to take action first.

Start believing in your writing abilities. If you need more practice (again, we all do), then practice. Your confidence will build the more you write.

What's holding you back? Are you ready to take your next step forward?

Jody Calkins
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