Flow Like a Mountain Stream

I saw the following words and thought I’d write a post on them.

A writer wants the words to flow like a mountain stream, …

by Steven O’Dell

This is so true, but how many writers have this happen? I mean, be honest, it rarely does.

It’s likely that many of us will have spurts of word flow, but those occasions are few and far between. In normal circumstances, we will often have to push ourselves to get the words down. The desire to write will be the driving force, not the flow of words.

What if the desire isn’t enough though? What if words will not allow themselves to be scribbled onto the blank sheet? This can be frustrating for a writer.

Some people, writers, call in writers block. Often it’s not writers block, it’s just procrastination. What’s the difference? With writer’s block the writer has no ideas, no words, nothing to work with. Their mind is a complete blank. With procrastination the writer has knows exactly what needs to be done, but continues to find excuses not to write.

I’ve never worked out why we do this to ourselves. We think about writing all day at work. We plan the next scene, the next chapter, and then when we get home we are eager to get to the keyboard … but we have to cook dinner, wash up, and spend time with the family. Finally, everyone has gone to bed, but still we do something else rather than write. Why? We have everything we need to sit down and write, so why do we pick up a book and read instead?

Why am I bringing this up? Well, it’s like this. I know exactly what needs to be done with my manuscripts. There is no writers block. I’m 100% sure of that. I have good intentions. “I’ll write tonight.” “I’ll write after dinner.” “I’ll write after I’ve checked my email.” “I’ll write in a minute.” “I’ll write…tomorrow.”

Each time I set a task to distract myself and I’ve completed that task, I set another one instead of just doing what I know I should be doing…writing. I annoy myself and what am I going to do about it?

Today, I did a bit of research on procrastination and here are some words of wisdom to help us (me) stop procrastinating and start writing:

1. Devote just fifteen minutes for the task. After fifteen minutes decide whether to spend another fifteen minutes, or defer it until tomorrow. Often a challenge becomes easier once we have started. Also, when we have worked at something for fifteen minutes, we don’t want to feel it was wasted so we carry on and complete the task. (From Dealing with Procrastination.)

2. Lazy people have no spare time. Procrastination is not only the thief of time, it is the creator of subtle inner tension. You know you are cheating yourself. (From Dealing with Procrastination.)

3. Get in touch with your self talk and feelings, and when you become aware of that “Hey let’s do it later” tug on your sleeve (which is often accompanied by a pit in the stomach), pointedly state to yourself “Do It Now! ”

4. …the way to conquer the problem is to treat the items I’m currently procrastinating as the first task of the day and the first thing that must be taken care of. No more taking care of small stuff first. (From Procrastination.)

5. Replace “I have to” — which promotes victimhood and resentment — with “I choose to.”

6. Replace procrastination with daily list making to keep you goal oriented and motivated. (From What is Procrastination?.)

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