Wednesday, 11 April 2012

J is for Just do it!

Just do what? I hear you cry, but you know exactly what I mean, don't you? I'm talking about getting on with it, whatever it is you've been putting off. Do it today!

We're all good at procrastinating, we'll do whatever it takes, not to do the task in hand. Take me, I should be working on my second novel draft right now, instead of writing this post. I had good intentions earlier, I'd convinced myself I was doing it as soon as I got up. So what happened?

I guess, I ended up doing what I thought was more relevant now. The problem is, the novel draft has been shoved to the bottom of the pile. I feel bad, because I know I should be getting on with it.

Lately, I can always find something more urgent to do. Be that returning library books, picking up teenagers from school or relaxing in the bath. So. How can I get the job done?

By finding the right voice inside my head. Not the one that says, 'I'll just check my email first' or 'I must organise my cookery books' or 'I'll never get this book finished' these thoughts are non productive, and the thoughts we listen to most, will influence how we behave. I need to change my way of thinking, and swing the spotlight around and redirect it.

I need to set things up so I can get on with what I need to do on my novel. Getting stuff out of the way needs to be done, so I can have a clear run at rewriting. I've made a list, I've arranged a time, and I'll be sat at my laptop poised and ready to write.

I've promised myself a cup of tea and a chocolate bar after an hour. I've just got to get started, because after five minutes of writing I'll be into it, and I'll be compelled to continue. The trick is to get the ball rolling, thats the hardest part.

Once I've done my agreed stint, I'll put a tick against it on my 'to do' list. Smile, and go and have that long soak in the bath.

What do you do to motivate yourself? Let me know, by leaving a comment below.


  1. I actually have to mentally schedule writing. At 10 p.m. I will go upstairs and write for 15 minutes... which always turns into 60 or 120 minutes. Its just a matter of telling myself I will get started.

  2. When it's writing time, I have to plan those other doables around the writing time I can set aside. Since I work full time, do the parent thing when I get home so that my kiddo doesn't starve, I get these things done and out of the way first. Then, once I put my kid down for bed, I allow my mind to focus on writing for at least an hour, not the internet, but writing. It can be forced sometimes, but it's necessary. Otherwise, I'll keep giving myself excuses. If I'm in between drafts, then I will allow myself a little freedom to work on a shiney idea one evening, read something the next then maybe do some writing exercises. But when it is time, it is game on.

  3. I use timers to motivate me and say--I'll do this for 30 mins, or whatever. With things like housework 30 mins is about all I want to do, but writing, well...sometimes I don't hear the alarm go off.

  4. Hi Maria, it's all about setting your priorities right. I'm motivated by the prospect of success and that success comes only through hard work. For me there's no better feeling than 'just doing it' and getting the job done to the best of your ability, be it great or small. Great post!

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  5. I can so relate Maria. I was feeling on the guilty side about doing a lot of reading and not so much writing, so I posted about it and counted that as my writing effort for the day, lol. I think in theory giving yourself a time slot each day is a good idea...yeah, in theory. Creativity strikes when it strikes? Or do we make ourselves write and hope for the best? Mmmmmm

  6. Thanks so much for this post. I really need a kick in the pants to get back to my novella and back to a regular reading schedule. I've added your blog as one I will be returning to.

    Jolie du Pre
    Precious Monsters

  7. Mmshaunakelley - Schedule is good! I do this every Sunday evening, 8pm is my writing hour.

    Angela - It does get easier as children grow.

    Bethie - Good plan, I'm going to try the timer thing today!

    Duncan - You're right, it's a great feeling when you just do it!

    Diane - I think it's good to make yourself write Diane, and feeling guilty is the way we're programmed it seems.

    GLBT - Thank you! Hope you find your motivation soon...

  8. Usually I write first, I find it helps to clear my mind & then allows me to do the other stuff in my life that I don’t always regards as important… however this isn’t always the best solution as sometimes I end being late, never a good thing because few people understand how writing could be so absorbing that you forget stuff…

  9. I tell everyone at home that this is my writing time. Then I sit and stare at the page, maybe check my e-mail, maybe go on Facebook. Then my husband asks me how much writing I have done. That's when I actually get on with it! lol!

  10. I can totally relate. Isn't it weird that we try to avoid things that we really want to do, like writing?

    Just Do It should really be on every wall of my house., at eye level. And on my ceiling, for all those times I stare at it, looking for inspiration!

  11. I'm always overlapping projects. And the novel gets a backseat too.

    A to Zer!

  12. Kay - Yes, writers are different, and it take one to understand another...

    moonduster - I love your style!

    Annalisa - I made a screen saver once, with letter that raced across the screen saying 'Just do it!'

    Rena - Seems we are all in the same boat!


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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