Just write for 10 minutes.

Writers everywhere are guilty of procrastination. I know I am. It lurks in the darkest recesses waiting to delay the unwary. In my attempt to banish it forever, I’ve borrowed a tip from top exam expert, George Turnbull who gives similar advice on exam revision techniques, and applied it to my writing day.

I promise myself that I will sit at my desk for ten minutes and write. Then I can stop, do something rewarding or just relax. My reward is usually playing my guitar, although unless I am currently writing a song, I limit myself to ten minutes of noodling. (Noodling is the guitarist’s equivalent of doodling; it doesn’t have anything to do with eating instant meals.)

So far, I haven’t done much noodling during my writing sessions. By the time the first ten minutes of writing is up, I am so involved in my story that the passing of time barely registers. Only when I get stuck do I pick up my guitar and let the creative dust settle. You don’t have to play guitar. Just pick a reward that will distract you from writing.

While I never have subscribed to the idea of writer’s block, this method has helped several fellow writers leap away from the daily starting line. So why don’t you try it? Let me know if it works for you.

Yves.

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Yves Potter

© 2012