Do you find yourself always procrastinating? C’mon now, you can tell your homeboy JHo. I, too, have procrastinated on things I don’t like to do in the past.
My main procrastination was writing. Lordy did I not like sitting down to write. My brain is more like a photo album, not a typewriter, so when it comes to putting words on paper I need a little fire under my ass to get going.
The trick I figured out that has worked wonders for me to increase my writing is a stopwatch. Having a timer creates a deadline, forcing you to finish something within a set time frame.
I started with a five minute timer and just wrote. Whatever came to mind on the topic I was writing about. Actually it doesn’t even have to be on the topic. The whole point here is to simply build momentum. Once your hand and brain are moving together, they start to flow like a river. One thought leads to another thought and suddenly the writing block clears and inhibitions you had earlier dissolve.
The benefits of using a timer are twofold. Having a limited time means you can do it in shorter sessions that don’t feel daunting. You can do several short sessions a day. After doing shorter sessions for a while, I found myself wanting to write for longer and longer sessions. The other benefit is that you’ll slowly build up a collection of writing that you can go back to and mine for interesting ideas. Things you wrote about may not have immediate value during the session you wrote them in, but may come in handy later on when working on a different project and you need a fresh idea.
I use Evernote to keep my daily writings. It’s free. Within Evernote I have two notebooks dedicated to writing. One is called DAILY JOURNAL and one is called DAILY WRITING.
DAILY JOURNAL is very short writings from my day–interesting people I’ve met, weird things that happened, strange experiences, funny things I heard. Things that I think may be useful for a story later. Here’s a handful of titles from some of the weird shit:
DAILY WRITING is the notebook where I keep short stories. I write one everyday using a plot generator and 30 minute timer to write the story. This is my version of “working out” for writing. I’m simply training my writing muscle and brain. Most of the stories aren’t any good, but every now and then you get the seed of an idea that can be used. Here are some of the story titles:
And if you prefer physical writing to typing, I use both a 59 cent notebook from Target and a $500 dollar iPad from Apple.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future blog post or would like to hire me for personal consultation on a video you’re making or if you’d like to hire me to make a video for you, feel free to contact me via the CONTACT page and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you and keep creating.