I’ve been a bit of a disorganised mess when it comes to sitting down and actually working on my novel. I could blame being in full-time employment for my shortcomings, that would be the easy option. I’ve had a long day at work, it’s been stressful and I’m tired. I’ll wake up early tomorrow morning and do some writing. Excuses, excuses. Procrastination is my enemy and it often prevents me from getting anything done. Any excuse I find to avoid delving deeper into my work in progress, I take. Eating dinner, listening to music, watching a video on youtube…I tell myself that I’ll start work on my novel after completing these tasks. After all, I had a long shift at work and I need some time to unwind (another excuse). Needless to say, I never get around to it. I’ll do it tomorrow, I tell myself, a lie upon the stack of lies I tell myself.
Procrastination is a powerful force, a force of evil. Once it takes over, it’s all over for me. This was something that I needed to change. I could not allow procrastination to rule the roost, to lead my life, to send me into a pit of doom.
If I wanted to truly make some progress with my work in progress, I needed to instil some sort of routine into my life and more importantly than that, I needed to stick to it. Routine would be the friend that would crush procrastination’s flirtatious ways.
I set this routine into motion over this past week. My days have consisted of waking up as you do, exercising and then working on my novel for 2 hours. I allowed myself to be flexible initially, since it’s important for me to start being consistent with my novel working ways. It mattered less to me how much I managed to get done in that time. I’d work for about 30-40 minutes within each hour before rewarding myself with a break (so I was really just doing 60-80 minutes of work in those 2 hours). As I said, it didn’t matter how much I was getting done, as long as I was making a little progress. After all, progress is better than neglecting to do anything at all.
Setting myself a definite time frame to work on my novel has helped me to limit the procrastination that I have been doing and just get to work. In that time frame, I would only focus on my novel. Forget music, forget videos, forget anything else that could provide a distraction to the task at hand. Now, a week into this routine I find myself naturally writing for longer periods at a time without a break.
I currently have a sketch of my plot details completed and have been working on the world in which my story takes place in. I am at one of the last steps now before I am ready to write my novel! I am beginning to see the finish line. It’s still quite far away, but I feel like it’s attainable. By implementing this routine and being consistent, I will soon be ready to pound out that first draft! Exciting times!