I have been avoiding this exact moment for months now. The “DeShawn the writer” website has been in the works for some time now, and I am finally ready for its explosive debut. However, I still have been trying to dodge this moment. The moment where I sit down, grab a pencil, grab some paper and start writing. This is the time where procrastination can no longer contribute to getting my site up and running. I know you are probably wondering “why in the hell is she trying to avoid writing?” People automatically think that writers love the moment of which we sit down in our almost comfy chairs and write our hearts out. And though I love to put my brain on paper I sometimes avoid it
Don’t get me wrong I love the way writing makes me feel. I love the feeling of mental freedom. It’s a freedom that nonwriters would never understand. To be able to be myself or whomever I choose to be within the lines of the paper is an incredible feeling. There are no boundaries in this expressive form of art. The walls of the universe are non-existent as I Astro project myself into words. Writing is the second most beautiful thing on this earth to me. The first is love. Self-expression is the greatest form of art. True art comes from one’s soul. Whether it’s happiness, sadness, or anger putting these emotions into some artistic form will not only benefit you, but it will contribute to society. So if writing is so immaculate why am I avoiding it?
The truth is I don’t want to come to terms with having one specific thought. My mind is running at 100 MPH. My brain is always going at that exact pace. I am full of ideas, writing prompts, novels, essays, and poetry. My writing possibilities are endless. When I sit down and begin to write, I can’t write as fast as I think. So, I have to choose one, though, one idea, one topic and write about it. By the time, I am done writing this sentence I would have thought of 10 more topics that I can write about.
I doubt that I am the only writer who goes through this. Writers are reading this right now who can relate to my dilemma. This is the complete opposite of writer’s block. With that being said I will call this condition “writer’s madness.”
If you’re like me, you are subscribed to successful writer’s blogs, friends with them via Twitter or Facebook. I have noticed that they all have an answer for writers block. They have routines that you can follow or ways to discipline yourself. But what happens when writers block is not the problem. What if the problem lies not with having a mental block but having a mental openness?
You may presume that having a brain full of writing ideas is a beautiful thing. Having “writer’s madness” can prove to be beneficial if you know how to control and tame it.
Here are the top 3 damaging effects of writer’s forge:
- Unfinished stories/projects
Here is my undisguised truth, I have many unfinished projects. When I began my journey into being a professional writer I had so many ideas. There were so many angles that I wanted to take and so many things that I wanted to talk about. What I would do is take the first thing that popped into my head and started writing about it. I told myself that this project would become my best-seller. After a week, my best-seller project is stashed away in a file cabinet and I’m working on a blog that I know will go viral. Then come next week the blog will not be published, and I’ll be working on my autobiography. And this how you accumulate unfinished projects. You never let yourself see an idea all the way through. The fire you had for the first project burns out, and now you are on the hunt for a new fire. The trick is not to seek a fire but to create one. The best way to handle this problem is simple:
- Get organized
- Create a List
- Give Yourself Deadlines
Organization is the key to most things, but it will help you in ways you wouldn’t imagine. I have writing tablets that I have labeled and that alone keeps me on track. I run three websites, so I keep a tablet for each site. Whenever I have an idea, I write down the idea and leave it alone. I don’t act on it, and I don’t immediately start working on it. Why? Because I have to give myself time to marinate on that idea. What seems like a perfect idea today could be a dud next week. Creating a list will help you weed out the duds from the things that you want to pursue. Also, give yourself deadlines with the projects that you are currently working on. Please do not rush yourself but do not take forever. Giving yourself deadlines helps hold you accountable for projects that you have dedicated your time to. It keeps you disciplined and on one particular task at a time.
Whenever I say the word “procrastination” I laugh. I laugh because it describes me like no other. I have gotten so much better over the years, and I am so proud of that. The problem with having so many ideas is that you will neglect other projects that you should be working on. You will have a severe case of procrastination. When it comes to being a writer procrastination to me has to deal with more of fear than anything. Switching from project to project and never actually seeing things through is simply because you may be afraid of getting little reaction to your project. And that fear will hinder you from becoming the great writer that you are destined to be. For anyone to grow in their craft, you have to take the good with the bad. Becoming an overnight sensation is rare. To reach the level of success that you desire, it will take hard work and dedication. An easy way to avoid procrastination is setting alarms for yourself. On my phone, I have designated alarm times that when it goes off, it tells me what I need to be doing at that moment. At first, this was hard. I sometimes ignored the alarm, but I never disabled it. After a while, I started doing what I was supposed to do and developed a routine. These days I am beating my alarm and have already started on whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. The curse of procrastination can be lifted off your life with a little discipline and a lot of drive.
You have nothing to prove to anyone. When you love to do something you are doing it for you, not for anyone else. There is no need to get stressed out or overwhelmed especially if it’s something you love doing. Being overloaded with ideas can take a toll on your mind. You may start to feel like you have to do every single thing you come up with. And then you feel like a failure when you don’t complete an idea. Don’t do this to yourself. Never put yourself in a position to start thinking negative about your craft. The best advice is to take it one day at a time but in this case, it takes it one idea at a time. You have to discipline yourself and learn to focus on one idea at the time. Put everything you got into that one idea. Start by getting organized, creating a list and give yourself a deadline. Give yourself designated times to work on the idea and steer clear from procrastination. All of these steps will prevent the constant feeling of being overwhelmed.
All of these things that I have shared with you have helped me become a better writer as well as a better person. I only hope that they help you or, at least, push you in the right direction.
I challenge you to do the things that I suggested for one week. I guarantee you will see a significant difference in the way you do things on and off the paper. Come back to this post in one week and let me know in the comment section how these tools has or has not helped you.
Originally published at deshawnthewriter.com on February 22, 2016.