Like everyone else, authors too are prone to procrastination. The reason this is so widespread among authors is due to the fact that writing is not a nine to five job. And sometimes, there are genuine problems like writer’s block or the fact that you have to spend time on things like marketing. But if you want to finish your book, you will have to deal with the procrastination at some point and concentrate on getting the project completed. How to actually go about it is a different question altogether. With a bit of planning, it can be done.
1. Create regular schedules
Of course, writing is a creative art, but nevertheless there is space to work your book into a regular schedule. If you are already working on a book, put some time aside every day for the actual writing. If you are working full-time, you still need to keep in touch with your muse, even if it is only for one hour each day. Set one day in the week for full-time writing. Alternatively, if you can afford it, try switching to a four-hour work-week so that you have enough time to work on your book. If you are a full-time writer, then your schedule must be more rigorous. Fix at least six to eight hours of work in this case. The most important thing is to stick to your schedule.
2. Set reasonable deadlines
Only you know the scope of your book, so only you can set the right deadline for it to be finished. Consider the time it would take for the first draft to be finished. You would have to factor in the time for research and sudden inspirations that can completely change your story from where it was at first. Taking all this into consideration, make sure that the deadlines you set for yourself are realistic. Unrealistic deadlines merely frustrate you when you are unable to meet them. Once you know when you want to finish the book, you will also be able to pace yourself to do so.
3. Set a timer when working
If your problem is a lack of focus on your project because of different distractions, then it is a good idea to actually record how much time you are working as compared to how much you expected to work. Once you realize how little you are actually working during the hours you have set aside for writing, you can work on it. If you are in the habit of browsing and reading all kinds of articles on the net while you write, switch off your internet connection during work time. Same goes for your TV, smartphone and every other apparatus out there whose sole purpose seems to be to stop you from finishing your work.
4. Leave the details for later
One of the most time-consuming tasks a good author faces is researching for the small details that make the story authentic and interesting. Make no mistake – this is an essential part of your writing. But this doesn’t need to be done while you are actually writing the first draft. Though the bulk of your research ought to be completed before you even start the writing, you need to leave the details for until the writing is completed. Doing research for small things at every point just means you are being held up in your writing. It also distracts you and disturbs your flow. Keep note of where you need more research and make these minor changes after the draft is completed.
5. Plan your story
Of course, it is understood that once you start writing, your story gets a life of its own. You might want to make numerous changes to the story and end up with an entirely different product than the book you started to write. However, this does not mean that you can’t plan out some structure to the story right at the beginning. Without having a concrete structure to work with, you will either produce shoddy work or get lost in the middle because you have no idea where you are going. Always make sure you have a clear idea of where the story is going and what kind of story you really want to tell.
Image credit: Vic on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]