Posted by: Phil Anderson | April 7, 2013

Writer’s Block and Procrastination

I consider myself lucky as a writer because I very seldom suffer from writer’s block. The main reason for this is that I don’t get a lot of time to write. I have a full time job, a busy family, and lots of responsibilities. I use whatever free time I have (driving the kids to school, standing in the shower, drifting off to sleep at night) to think about what I want to write, so that when I sit down at my keyboard the ideas are ready to pour out onto the screen.

Another reason writer’s block doesn’t bother me is procrastination. If I don’t already have something ready to write down, there are lots of other things I can find to do. Besides the aforementioned responsibilities, I have several books by my bed (or on my iPod) that I want to read, and a good book can be inspiring to a writer, so I tell myself it’s okay to stop and read for a while. And because I am still writing for my own enjoyment (meaning I haven’t found an agent or a publisher who will offer me a contract) I don’t have any deadlines, so I can write at my own pace.

The one place that writer’s block does become a problem is right here, on my blog. I have a self-imposed deadline to post something every Sunday night, and there’s a whole week between every update for me to decide what to write for the next one. But when it doesn’t come to me easily I procrastinate, working on other writing projects (there are only two chapters left on the second draft of my next novel!) or doing other things.

It’s not that I have nothing to say. I have lots of ideas in several unfinished blog draft pages (more things that influence me, unfinished short stories, inspirational thoughts that need to be developed), but sometimes nothing really strikes me as “the right thing to post this week.” So I work a little on this one and little on that one, hoping that inspiration will come. And I fight off the urge to read today’s newspaper, or play a game on my iPod, or check Facebook again in case there’s something new. And eventually I wind up with an article that’s vaguely entertaining, or at least interesting, and I promise myself that next time I’ll do better.

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