Overall though, procrastination has been my worst writing fault.
Back in grad school, I'd do my research and figure out what I planned to write but then not complete the paper until the week it was due. In a couple of cases I pulled an all-nighter because I'd not get it written until the night before it was due. I don't recommend that. In my job as a librarian, I know a few new college students and have told them to do as I say, not as I did. Do NOT pull all-nighters. The weird thing was those papers often got the highest grades. I write best under deadline.
This presents a serious problem for me right now because I have no deadline. I'm looking for a home for my completed manuscript but my current work in progress is just that. In progress. I've had trouble finishing it because no one is breathing down my neck and there are no consequences for failure. Back in school, the consequence of no paper was a failing grade but I don't have that motivation anymore.
Here are a couple of ideas I plan to implement to get myself back on track.
1. Set a realistic deadline.
Now I did this earlier this year and it didn't really help. But I'm going to try it again and see if I can add some things to help make it more stringent. I want to complete my manuscript by 6 p.m. on January 1, 2008. There I said it. In writing. Publicly.
2. Create a consequence and impose it for failure.
We tell our kids if you don't clean up your room, you don't get dessert or something similar. The premise is that a job has to be completed and if the obligation isn't met, a treat is denied. I think I can make this work. I just have to figure out what I want badly enough that denying myself would be BAD. Hmmmm. If I don't finish my book by my deadline, I can't go to Wylde Nept's concert when they play locally early next year. Oh my, that ought to do it. I love those guys.
3. Reward for meeting the goal.
You know what they say, you can get more flies with honey than vinegar. If the threat doesn't work, maybe a carrot will. So I guess my reward would be the opposite of my consequence. If I finish in time, I get to go to the concert when my favorite band in the world (Wylde Nept) plays locally next year.
4. Write daily for best results.
Earlier this year I was writing every day, but I've let that go. I think writing daily with a minimum goal of 300 words a day is doable.
Yeah, this stuff could work!
So there you have it. I'm trying to face my worst bugaboo. How do all of you get past your inertia? What tips do you have to write daily and fight the dreaded danger of procrastination?