You do procrastinate once in a while. Don’t you?
Or are you like me? I need to spend some time not working on a project so that I can finally start working on it.
I deal with it every day.
I have to waste a little time scrolling FB or watching cat and dolphin videos on YouTube before I begin writing.
If you are writing for yourself, procrastination means your to-do list only gets longer, and if you are a freelance writer, procrastination costs you money.
But we can either perish or adapt.
The procrastinating habit isn’t going to go away soon, so I will share ideas on making the best use of time.
Why do Writers Procrastinate?
It’s NOT because you are:
- Not committed enough
- Aren’t serious about doing the work
- Not competent enough
- A bad person
It’s because the thought of the work is stressing you out (that’s what the scientists say).
You want to produce the best work for yourself or your freelance writing client. And you don’t want to fail at the task, and that’s why you procrastinate.
I know the reason why people procrastinate.
I know why I procrastinate.
I know the enemy, and yet I can’t figure out how to defeat it.
However, I have a workaround, and it doesn’t involve writing.
Here’s what to do.
Forums are super entertaining to read. You can visit the forum for “research purposes” and read the threads.
You will find a lot of insider knowledge in the forums. Copy and paste the interesting stuff into a word document. You can use it as inspiration for your article.
Keep a keen eye for the jargon used by the people and later include it in your article. Your audience will relate to you better if you use their language.
Niche bloggers generally know what their audience wants. On the other hand, generalist freelance writers often have the disadvantage of not being familiar with the audience. Reading forums paves the way for a freelance writer to write engaging content and stand out as a freelance writer.
Warning: Don’t get lost in reading the threads. Keep reminding yourself that you have some writing to do.
Research for an Hour
Read websites, watch YouTube videos RELATED TO THE TOPIC (don’t use it as an excuse to drift away).
I remember the time when I was researching “hydro excavation” and got carried away. When my trance broke, I realized that an hour has passed and a video titled “How a Pinball Machine Works in Slow Motion” was playing on YouTube.
Don’t be me. Watch YouTube videos and read articles but be mindful of your objective.
Save useful links in a word document to reference later. Take notes, use the language used by the person in the video, copy and paste quotes and note-worthy points from articles and save it all in one place.
I select entire paragraphs and copy and paste them into my outline document to refer to it later.
Many times, I would read a good article and then, later on, lose it because I forgot the search query or it just won’t show up in Google results. Juggling between 20 different tabs can be a little difficult, you know?
With enough research, you won’t have to leave the outline document during the writing process. Believe me, it will make you faster, and your writing will be brimming with helpful information for the reader.
Don’t Start Writing, Yet!
After all this research and note-taking, I am mentally exhausted. And I guess you will be too.
Go and attend to some chores, and let your inner subconscious process the information (probably, it’s the only time when overthinking works in our favor).
The research will make you feel confident, and hopefully, the procrastination problem won’t strike until your next writing assignment.