Drafting Process,  Editing,  reflections,  The Novel,  The Process,  Writerly Insides,  Writing

Beat the Enemy

Procrastination is a writer’s biggest enemy.

I know this so much. It took me doing another uni degree and finding a writing buddy to get me there.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my novel. I love my characters and they feel like long lost friends, I know that my novel series has a exact number of books (6 if you’re wondering with 2 novellas), and I have 2 and half of those 6, already written (granted one is a very rough first draft and the other has 50k). I don’t want to part with them. A part of me is clinging onto them because I know that they will always be my first love, my first babies. It was also what was so scary about writing The End on my first draft. I knew that it was time for the refining and that the process really was getting somewhere. Scary as all hell, doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt in those few hours before I finished the draft. I even had this talk with Peta where I admitted to being terrified. She got it, which instantly made me feel much better.

Procrastination and fear were two things that held me back when it came to finishing my novel. They sometimes still come back to haunt me but this is how I break through them.

Firstly I open up Scrivener (because who still uses word to write their novels? Go and get the  program!) and I try and see where I’m at. Sometimes I leave mid-sentence (this is a really bad habit of mine, don’t do this) and I have to retrace where I was. Then I move places. I wrote the majority of my first draft hunched over my laptop on my bed. It worked for me. I’m not sure why, but it did. I did the same for starting chapter 2 of my revision. I’d tried writing it at my desk and I can do essays, job applications, cover letters and blog posts at my desk but I can not, for the life of me, sit down and actually write my novel on my desk. I have a comfy chair, I have everything I need but it just doesn’t work. If someone could explain this to me I would much appreciate it!

Then I do the crazy thing and I start writing (I also make sure I have music going. Parachute by Lawson is my current go to song…seriously…it’s on repeat). I wish I could say that it just flows, but it doesn’t. It’s work. Writing is not easy. Yes, sometimes it flows, but mostly it doesn’t. I push through the beginning of resistance and I keep going until I feel that point where I’ve broken through it and joy slips into the cracks. I love these moments, sadly they always seem to happen when I’m about to go off to work or to Body Attack or somewhere else. It’s a true dilemma but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s needed. I can come back and try and find where I left off.

How do you guys beat procrastination? I’m more than happy to be your cheerleader if you need one. I’m good at that sort of thing. Ask Peta. Haha.

Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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