At some point in your writing time you’ve been lured away to Twitter to see if there are any tantalizing new links. Or Facebook to see if your pumpkins are ready to be harvested. Or a gossip site. Or CNN. Or the wallet-draining, but oh so lovely, Amazon.
Everybody’s got their own choice of poison. Somewhere along our writing journey, we all find ways to procrastinate.
Let me be clear. I am in no way advocating procrastination. It can be a writer’s worst enemy, stealing away hours of productivity. But by using a computer for the majority of your writing, it's all too easy to minimize that WIP. So how can you stay on track?
Set a goal
Remember when you were younger and your mom would promise you a treat if you behaved in the grocery store? Same applies here. When you feel the itch to switch windows, check out your word count and give yourself a goal to hit before you’re allowed to take a break.
Set a limit
Even if you've reached your word goal and earned yourself that break, set a time limit for surfing and when it’s up, dive right back in that document. No exceptions. I don’t care if someone did make an amazing lolcatz ladygaga video on youtube (is there one? That would so make my day).
Make it count
If you’re going to take a time-out from writing, make the most of it. Catch up on blogs about the industry. Network. Do something useful. (And no. Playing word games or zuma on-line, sadly, does not count)
Stay on track
If you still find yourself dragging your feet, take a look at your outline or think about what direction you wanted the story to head in. Does it feel right? Are you avoiding certain scenes because you're not sure how you'll pull them off? Take some time to straighten out your thoughts before sitting down. If you can see where you're going in the story, you'll find yourself taking less breaks, and therefore less inclined to procrastinate.
*photo curteousy of psyberartist