4 Reasons Why Writers Procrastinate and How To Stop

by Raquel Byrnes

 You’re behind in your writing. You haven’t put anything new to paper in weeks. The thought of it is squelching your creativity. This can be stressful. That is why realizing the common reasons for procrastination and having a plan to side-step them is important and freeing.

Here are some common reasons why writers find themselves, well…not writing. 

Need To Be Perfect – You can’t move forward because your chapter isn’t perfect or you think some tinkering will help. You find yourself going over and over the same first 50 pages ad nauseam.

Too Distracted – You get lost on Twitter or spend your writing hours on Face Book. You find yourself reading fascinating articles on Amazon tree frogs for no reason…sound familiar?

Undefined Space – Your laptop or computer is nestled next to the bills and the kids’ games. You have to search for your notes and clean up the area before you even sit down. Once you actually start to write…you’re distracted and tired.

Unrealistic Goals – An 80,000 word manuscript seems so intimidating. The idea of that many words…all the components of a novel coming together makes you queasy.

The good news is there are some simple tricks to help you get to work and get it done…

 Just Get The Story Out – Understand that you will go over your manuscript dozens of times, if not more, during revisions and edits. Your first draft is supposed to be rough. You can go back later and fix it.

Avoid The Internet – Allow yourself twenty minutes of web-browsing time before you start writing and then the browser goes off. No exceptions. If you need to look something up, wait until writing time is over.

Create A Writing Space – Whether it’s your room with the door closed or the local coffee shop, you need to carve out a place for you to both work and store your stuff. Keep your files organized in a file box or in a special drawer so that you don’t have to hunt for them.

Set Scene Goals – You can’t finish your book in one sitting but you can finish a scene. A conversation, an action sequence, a flashback. One scene from start to finish is doable. It allows you to get something done and that in itself can be motivating.

Remember that writing a novel is a marathon not a sprint. You have to have endurance and motivation, but you’ll be so happy when you see your story in print. Now Go Write!


Raquel Byrnes lives in Southern, California with her husband of sixteen years and their six children. She considers inspirational fiction a wonderful way to minister to others. She writes romantic suspense with an edge-your-seat pace. Her first book the Shades of Hope Series, Purple Knot, is set to release from White Rose Publishing.com later this year. You can visit her at her website: www.raquelbyrnes.com and her writing blog, Edge of Your Seat Romance.

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