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Sit Down And Write

January 11, 2013

SitDownAndWrite

Yesterday I tweeted the hashtag, #sitdownandwrite. Then I thought I’d follow the hashtag to see what other tweets might include this subconscious direction. Not a single other tweet. Not one.

That surprised me. If you do a Google search for “sit down and write” you’ll get over 86 million results. Why? Because writers and authors who teach or motivate others to write like to say this as their #1 direction. Just sit down, shut up, and write.

Why is this said so frequently in published books and writing courses? Because it’s easy to procrastinate. Especially if one has a full-time job, children to take care of at home, oh, and maybe catch up on the latest Dexter episode. Understandably, life gets in the way. But the bottom line is: writers write.

I’ll admit, I’m no different. I admitted a few blog posts ago that I’m a chickenshit and getting down to writing is a complex, time-consuming, and scary proposition. But I’ve learned that what helps me sit down and write is some motivation. Here are some that might motivate you, too.

Deadlines

But back when I was writing online articles full time I had a good motivation – deadlines! Some weeks I had 30 to 50 articles assigned to me and like always I would procrastinate until they absolutely had to get done. I recall on one single day I tallied up about 25 articles totaling around 12,000 words. If I could do that every day I could write a novel almost every week! But no matter what, I always met my deadlines, which meant I had to place butt firmly in chair and ignore the signs of carpel tunnel.

Giving yourself a self-imposed deadline can help a lot. Say you want to finish your novel and have it ready to send to publishers by mid-year. That’s motivation to sit down and write at least 16,000 words each month, or 555 words per day, EVERY DAY, until then.

Schedule Your Sit Down And Write Time

For some folks it is more helpful to schedule a block of time to sit down and write. Earlybirds may want to set 30 to 60 minutes each morning at the keyboard right after they wake up. Others may want to do this the last thing before bed. Others may find that bringing a sandwich and spending 60 minutes at the laptop during lunch hour each day is the way to go.

The important thing to remember is to set a schedule that works for you, and stick to it.

Rewards

I am finding that rewards are good motivators for me. I’m a sucker for donuts, and I have a special place in my heart (and stomach) for Dove’s dark chocolate. And there’s nothing quite like a delicious local micro-brewed IPA. I allow myself to indulge these things if I reach my goals.

What do you like most? Determine that you can allow a little indulging for yourself if you just sit down and write like a good writer should.

Don’t forget that you wanted to be a writer. But nobody can call themselves a writer if they don’t sit down and write. Get to it and be proud of your results!

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