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October 31, 2014, 04:51:22 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeWritingDelaying procrastination?
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soryy708
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« on: March 02, 2014, 08:24:48 PM »

Writing - I like some of it, but otherwise am compelled to procrastinate.
I wonder if it has anything in common with the fact that all sims in The Sims 3 hate writing.

Do you have a similar problem?
How do you keep it at bay?

I have multiple writing projects that I'd like to get finished, but am compelled to doing other things (like practicing guitar, composing music, programming, listening to music, playing videogames, not writing...).
A piece of good lyrics in a cool song makes me want to get back into writing.

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Runefrog
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 02:10:54 AM »

Writing is hard. It's not difficult to get an idea down on paper, but it is difficult to edit it into something great. You should set yourself a target each day and play games/guitar as a reward.

I've only ever finished two or three stories/scripts that I've started because I never think I have enough quality scenes going on so I lose passion for the project. I still keep them on my laptop though. Writers should always keep old ideas in a drawer or something.
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crumpet
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 02:39:36 AM »

Pull someone else in.

Let someone else know you're writing. Promise them regular updates of your work.
This not only makes you feel bad about not writing, not only gives you someone who can remind you to work, but it also nets you regular feedback. That's always a plus.

If you don't want to post it to someone you know, find yourself an online, active community of writers. TIG is good, but maybe try and find a purely writers' based forum (eg: Fictionpress).
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 08:35:48 AM »

I don't really have this problem. Perhaps it's a sign that the story isn't too good. What makes the story special?

Writing is an iterative process. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Too often it goes too slow because people think that once they get to the last chapter it's over.

Here's what I do:
I grab a story I like for inspiration. Bring along a notepad. Your goal is not to copy it, but to find out which part of the story resonates with yours. This can be a book, a movie, but books are fastest to skim through. Lyrics are good too.

As you read/listen to it, write down what you like most about it. Why do you like the character? Do you like the theme? The plot and its twists? The narration? Narration and plot are very different things.

Try to replicate that into a story, and write it as fast as possible. I set my limit to 1 hour. You'll get a really crappy story. That's fine. What's important is that you'll find what you love about it. Take a break, grab your theme from this synopsis. You'll probably get a character or two you like.

Rewrite. Keep rewriting. Your goal is to rewrite and iterate enough to get:
 - An ending
 - A starting point
 - At least 3 story arcs - inciting incident, twist, low point
 - A bunch of characters who all have their own personality. Especially the main ones - protagonist, deutragonist, antagonist, supporting characters.

This is the skeleton of the story. Once you have all this, then you bulk and detail it up.

If your theme and characters are compelling enough, you should have little issue creating a world that they can run in. If they're not good enough, you'll procrastinate. But don't give up, trying to get to that point is hard work.
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ko´nsky
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 05:08:31 AM »

Writing - I like some of it, but otherwise am compelled to procrastinate.
I wonder if it has anything in common with the fact that all sims in The Sims 3 hate writing.

Do you have a similar problem?
How do you keep it at bay?

Possible solutions that worked quite well for me :

- find writing buddies, like a forum community of writers. Share your work, read and comment the work of the other members. Help each other to better your stories. I can't point to such a forum because I'm French speaking : obviously, the forum I visit won't interest you.
- try to get published (on whatever support). I found it to be an excellent motivation to get to work. For example, select a call for submissions and write a story for it. Short stories are good for that because they represent less work and you can find quite easily call for submissions.

Hope it helps !
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jgrams
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 06:01:56 AM »

Unfortunately I think all the writers I know, or whose blogs I've read, pretty much say it just comes down to discipline: you have to force yourself to write every day, whether you want to or not.

For me it's mostly getting started each day. I've had good success with making myself a rule that I have to write (code, draw, whatever) for at least 30 (45? 60?) minutes each day before I'm allowed to do anything with my computer/phone/the internet. Also things like quitting when you're ahead: always leave yourself something easy and obvious to do when you pick it up the next day.

I can't find the quote now, but someone once said something about exercise that has really stuck with me: she had been asked something along the lines of "how do you motivate yourself to keep doing it", and she replied that it wasn't about motivation: it's not about how do you make yourself want to do it, it's about having a mindset where it's something that you are going to do. Like getting out of bed in the morning, or eating meals, or going to the bathroom. Put it in that place in your mind where it's something that you don't have a choice about.

I realize that's kind of a tough stance, but the older I get, the more I realize that almost all the people I've ever known who consistently accomplish things work like this. You ask them how they motivate themselves, and they're almost puzzled; "It's just something I've decided to do."

Here, have some motivational quotes. Tongue

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit" --Richard Bach

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -- Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (summarizing Aristotle)

"Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life
is made up of little things." --Frank A. Clark

"Video games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do. Real brains don't do that. On occasion? Sure. As relaxation? Great. But not full time -- and a lot of people are doing that. And while they're doing that, I'll go ahead and write another novel." --Ray Bradbury, Salon.com (29 August 2001)

"Sometimes utility feels like futility, but someone's gotta do it." -- Brian Foote, via Eugene Wallingford

"Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest. Given two people of approximately the same ability and one person who works ten percent more than the other, the latter will more than twice outproduce the
former." -- Richard Hamming, You and Your Research
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Gwartney21
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 01:02:21 PM »

I have the same issue some times when it comes to sitting down, and writing any thing.
The way I stop my self from getting distracted, is to take,and sit either out side on my patio,or some were out of my room were the distractions are.

One thing that I find that helps is to use a different account on your computer, if your typing it at least; like a work account were the majority of your other stuff from your other main account wont be,so you wont be tempted to go work on a programming, project or what ever it is your doing.

Another thing I do is when I start writing instead of listing to music, because I find that distracting while writing I listen to a ambiance type track like a coffee shop or something because it helps eliminate other distractions, and I find my self less tempted to do other things.  Grin
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InvertMouse
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 03:27:26 AM »

We often procrastinate because we fear the work produced will fail to meet our expectations. In truth, that will always be the case, as nothing can beat what we envisioned in our heads. With that in mind, we can be free and allow ourselves to write without being judgmental.

All the other advice shared here have been great.

Of course, a lot of passion helps, too Smiley!
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2014, 05:00:19 AM »

For me it's mostly getting started each day. I've had good success with making myself a rule that I have to write (code, draw, whatever) for at least 30 (45? 60?) minutes each day before I'm allowed to do anything with my computer/phone/the internet. Also things like quitting when you're ahead: always leave yourself something easy and obvious to do when you pick it up the next day.

I can't find the quote now, but someone once said something about exercise that has really stuck with me: she had been asked something along the lines of "how do you motivate yourself to keep doing it", and she replied that it wasn't about motivation: it's not about how do you make yourself want to do it, it's about having a mindset where it's something that you are going to do. Like getting out of bed in the morning, or eating meals, or going to the bathroom. Put it in that place in your mind where it's something that you don't have a choice about.

I totally agree with all of this advice. I find getting up early in the morning and doing it before I do anything else keeps me focused and gives me satisfaction for the rest of the day.

The other question you have to ask yourself is why? Why do you want to write? If you don't want to write more than you want to practice guitar or play video games, maybe it's not your true passion in life. There's nothing wrong with that, but I think that before you master something, you need to understand the reasons why you want to do it in the first place or you're going to lose motivation somewhere down the line.
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glintycreative
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 06:31:30 PM »

Writing - I like some of it, but otherwise am compelled to procrastinate.
I wonder if it has anything in common with the fact that all sims in The Sims 3 hate writing.

Do you have a similar problem?
How do you keep it at bay?

I have multiple writing projects that I'd like to get finished, but am compelled to doing other things (like practicing guitar, composing music, programming, listening to music, playing videogames, not writing...).
A piece of good lyrics in a cool song makes me want to get back into writing.

Edit:
PS: Nightingales are awesome! Desktop

I think my method is quite simple. I just tell myself to write for 5 minutes.
Often I am lazy, but after 5 minutes writing, ideas flow out and I can write continuously for an hour.
Maybe you just get yourself to write 5 min for a story, write any part, just write.
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neaptide
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 05:57:01 PM »

I don't know about you, but I'm a super visual learner. I get inspired when I see really good art, or a really pretty scene. Taking walks is really important as a creative in any field, especially art/music/writing, because your brain will stop feeling the pressure to do anything, in the same sense that you get ideas in the shower, except you're susceptible to a sunset, or a nice view. Doing mundane things will make you bored, and open up a lot of areas of the brain for ideas!
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