Are You Procrastinating Instead of Writing Fiction?


You find yourself arranging your desktop again, and obviously, you must get another cup of coffee before you can begin.

When you go to the kitchen, you pass the laundry and decide that it's time to wash some clothes.

Even vacuum cleaning seems more fascinating than writing the words you promised yourself you would write daily.

Fiction Writing - Are you procrastinating instead of writing fiction?

Symptom: You're Procrastinating

There can be several reasons for procrastination.

  • Fear of failure.
  • Fear of success.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Perfectionism.

Want to Crank Out a Perfect Book in Your First Trial?

In my early thirties, I read a lot of Stephen King. I got the impression that he just wrote his books, and then they were published.

Later, I learned that some writers rewrite their books seven or more times.

Not even the best get it right the first time.

That's what drafts are for. And you're allowed to write a “crappy first draft”.

In fact, you should, according to the people over at The Write Practice. In a blog post titled “Kill Perfectionism With This One Practice”, the author, Kimberly Dawn Rempel, talks about the three lessons she learned from her fiction-writing friend who told her to “just write”.

Lesson 1: Giving yourself permission to write total crap quiets perfectionism

That is so true, and while I try my best to write well, even while writing the first draft, writing ANYTHING is better than nothing. And with a permission to write utter crap, you inner critic just got redundant.

Lesson 2: Permission to write crap unlocks creativity

I've been surprised what I've come up with the times I found a scene too hard to write and then gave myself permission just to write crap.

Lesson 3: To grow in the craft of writing, one must write

That is so true. For years I studied the craft, but I didn't write much if anything. Even though my husband often said that I should follow my passion and write fiction, to me it was a luxury I couldn't afford. So I studied.

Until the day that I discovered that fiction wasn't necessarily a pure hobby. People made a living with fiction, thanks to Kindle.

So I started writing, and what I'd learned suddenly made sense.

So Should You Just Start Writing?

Based on my own experiences, I can't recommend just writing. The only stories I've ever finished were plotted beforehand. Not always in details, but I had an idea about what each chapter should contain, and as I progressed, I also outlined the scenes.

But freewriting is good. And even freewriting inside the frames of your work in progress. If you find yourself stuck, do a journal. Write as if you were one of the minor characters looking at the main character. Write as if you were the bad guy.

Just write.

But plot, too.



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