So, you’re supposed to be writing, but what are you really doing?
How much of your writing session is taken up by petty, unproductive distractions?
Perhaps these 50 procrastination techniques sound familiar:
- Check your email.
- Answer your email.
- Moderate your blog comments.
- Re-organize your documents folder.
- Look for blog photos on Flickr.
- Scan articles on GoogleReader.
- Catch up on some tweets.
- Count your Facebook fans.
- Change into your official writing uniform (jammies).
- Read up on debut author advances.
- List things to buy when your $100,000,000,000,000 advance comes through.
- Employ the phone book flip-and-point technique to generate character names for your novel.
- Re-arrange your desk.
- Browse famous writing rejection letters.
- Research headshot photographers.
- Research latest hairstyles for your headshot.
- Practice poses in the mirror for your headshot.
- Comment on agent/editor/author blogs hoping to get noticed.
- Write a blog post on procrastination techniques.
- Place an online order for new writing accessories.
- Research potential agents for your novel (before it’s written).
- Choose actors to star in the movie-version of your novel.
- Sharpen your pencil.
- Test the drawer full of half-used pens you’ve accumulated over the past ten years.
- Make a cup of coffee.
- Clean your coffee maker with vinegar (because your coffee is starting to taste funky).
- While waiting for your coffee maker to air-out, test every cafe in a 20-block radius for which is the most writerly.
- Iron your underwear (in case you get hit by a bus on your way home from the cafe with your manuscript under your arm, and are published posthumously).
- Prepare a statement for the press in case you become famous posthumously.
- Check your word count.
- Calculate your average word count per day, week, month, and year.
- Make a big list of synonyms for sparkling and misty.
- Look up the current short-list for the Pulitzer.
- Compare your novel to those on the Pulitzer short-list.
- Compare your first chapter to the Amazon excerpts of every novel in your genre.
- List ways in which your writing is better than all those published books.
- Design the cover for your novel (in case the art department asks for your input).
- List your potential pen names.
- Research e-readers for possible purchase.
- Calculate how much money you could save by purchasing e-books instead of hardcovers.
- Read book reviews on Publisher’s Weekly.
- Go through all your old writing attempts. Guffaw.
- Prepare a pre-writing snack.
- Eat the pre-writing snack whilst still in kitchen.
- Prepare a post-writing snack.
- Eat the post-writing snack early (it was looking a bit soggy).
- Clean your keyboard–especially the crumbs in all those little grooves.
- Perform eye exercises to prevent strain.
- Look up articles on how to overcome writer’s block.
- Nap. Dreams are always inspiring.
Just a thought, but perhaps aspiring writers who procrastinate too much are destined to always be aspiring.
What procrastination techniques do you really need to give up?
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