I procrastinate a lot. I mean a lot. Of course, I’m referring to writing this novel. Admittedly, I can say I’m procrastinating a lot less than I have been lately but it’s still like pulling teeth to an extent. It’s like I always just say to myself “I’ll do it tomorrow” but tomorrow never comes, ya know? What’s weird is that I’m the kind of guy that plans out everything for the day when I get up. Oddly enough, I always ‘plan’ to write at some point every day but I usually get to that point and just decide against it for some reason. But recently I’ve found a few tools to keep me focused and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process.
I’ve found that if I’m home I can barely ever get in the right headspace to write. There are just like three distractions that never fail to slam on the brakes. Why write when I could watch Netflix, play video games, or sleep or something? The irony is that sometimes I just have trouble figuring out a certain part of the story so I say something to the extent of “I’ll just lie down for a second and think on it” but I usually just pass out. And at this point, it’s not really ironic anymore because I know what I’m doing, I’m putting it off. But the really weird thing is that if I’m literally anywhere else, all I can think about is writing. It’s actually all I want to do, and I actually bring my iPad with me and I do write. Conversely, on the days where I can actually focus while I’m home, once I start, it’s hard to stop. If I start.
So I came up with a motivator that’s working pretty well so far. When I first started thinking about how lazy I’ve been, I thought back to college when I would always finish my projects on time, and sometimes ahead of schedule. So I asked a friend to help set deadlines for me: a chapter every two weeks (or at least a rough draft of one). I realized a long time ago that setting my own deadlines doesn’t work for me for obvious reasons. And for whatever reason, this is really working for me, even when I’m home. There are no repercussions, no consequences, or anything like that (unless you count the shade I would potentially get from the aforementioned friend). I doubt this method is for everyone but I guess I just like the whole writing on a deadline thing. And now that I think about it, I really hate being late in any circumstance. So no matter if I write it all in one day or throughout the two week period, I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to be on time until it’s finished. Not too much longer.