How to Fight Procrastination and Write a Book in 2023
So you’ve been wanting to write a book. For years, you’ve reflected on your story and just know at the core of your being that it needs to be told because it can encourage others and teach them. But… getting started is hard—especially when so many have told you to “Write a book!” and you just haven’t found the time… or keep falling victim to procrastination.
Procrastination is real because telling your story can be scary. Other things may seem more appealing, but your voice and story are important and so challenge yourself to sit down and write. However, getting started is much easier said than done. Let’s walk through four tips to get you started and out of the rut—2023 is the year to share your message with the world!
The Five Minute Method.
You can do anything for five minutes. One way to battle procrastination is to set a timer… but just for five minutes. Give yourself five minutes to start—five minutes to write things out on a page. Give yourself five minutes to brainstorm before you start, or even put that timer on your spiraling. Five minutes to let your dreams run rampant, and then get to work for five minutes.
You’ll be amazed what can happen in five minutes. Maybe you’ll write the illusive opening paragraph, or simply write your dedication to get things started. Organization might flow from this time you set apart, and the chapter breakdown may start to look less overwhelming. Five minutes may not seem like a long time, but it is productive and not procrastination, and over time, five minutes will grow as you are encouraged in your ability to sit down and write a book.
Psychologists have studied this concept–and it works because an unfinished task is more likely to motivate you than an unstarted one. So get started! (Even if it is just for five minutes).
Change it Up!
By nature, we are all creatures of habit. When you find yourself in a rut trying to write your book, change up the scenery. Go to the park to see what creativity is ignited. Sit in your child’s bedroom to draw inspiration. Lounge in a coffee shop and let your curiosity take hold. The words are there, the story is there, but sometimes we all just need a little push. Don’t let your work space hold you back.
Maybe your issue is not feeling trapped in your space, maybe you just feel like productivity is unattainable. What’s the solution? Take a break and go check something off a different to-do list. Wash the dishes, fold your laundry, go buy groceries. Be productive in another realm, and you might be encouraged by your ability to get things done. Then, sit down and write a book! Let yourself be encouraged by your capability and capacity to be productive.
Get Accountability to Fight Procrastination!
Tell a friend your goal for the day– “I want to finish chapter 1”, “I want to write the outline”, “I want to pick the title” – and promise them that you’ll report back at the end of the day. Accountability can be hard, but it is so encouraging on your path to write a book. Get someone who will shoot you straight, but also encourage you. Your story was formed by the people around you so let them someone you trust be part of the process.
Accountability may sometimes feel burdensome, but giving someone the chance to check up on you can actually be an encouragement if you let it. Remember, they said yes because they want to read chapter one, your outline, or even just the title. When you get a friend in your corner to be accountable to, you are freed and not fettered.
Remember: Writing is rewriting!
Just like learning to ride a bike takes many tries, you probably will not knock your first draft out of the park– and maybe not the second one either. It takes time, dedication, and patience.
Every book, TV show, or movie was written by someone, but I assure you that you are not seeing their first draft. You are seeing the fruit of their labor, which is hours upon hours of hitting the rewrite floor to create the best possible product.
Do not let the fear of imperfection fuel procrastination. Write a blurb, and put your thoughts to a page. Before you know it, those imperfections will lay the groundwork for the story you want to tell. Rome was not built in a day, and your story is a whole lifetime in the making, so expect the process to take some time and patience. Throw some initial thoughts on to the page– just start, because even the greats had to go back and edit.
All in all: just get started—you do have what it takes to write a book. The process may be big and daunting, but when you take it step by step and do not let it get bogged down by habit, you can achieve everything you set your mind to, too. The people next to you want to help, so let them in a healthy way, and be patient with yourself. Get your ideas out there and let them take form, and be comfortable that you might have to change it up a little later.
2023 is your year, so go ahead and get started! The world is ready, and now you will be, too!