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How to Write When You Are Too Busy Procrastinating or Working for Real?

PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.


Delaying your writing projects is common for all new and experienced writers. It is safe to assume that if the famous writers can put aside their writing projects and take years to complete one task, then why can’t we? A pretty good excuse as writing every day isn’t an easy task because it isn’t all about writing, you need to be creative, think about your readers, use the best and easy word possible and also deal with the daily chores. It is important to have the utmost focus, but when you are being disturbed even for a second, you have to start from scratch. So, how to force (or lure) yourself to write a bit or more every day even when you are busy like no one. At last, only you can change yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.

Being busy has different meanings for different people

  • You have to wake up early in the morning and prepare yourself for the day.
  • You work eight hours or more daily.
  • You have children and you need to pick them up from school, also considering the traffic.
  • You help them with homework, then cook dinner and clean the dishes later, and so on.
  • You can’t skip dinner hours, bathing hours, storytelling hours, and sleeping hours. These are unavoidable.
  • You have to do the cleaning and perform other household duties.

This list is just an outline of your daily activities. These are some unavoidable tasks that you need to do no matter the situation.

“Remember, no one is too busy to accomplish anything, it’s all about priorities.”

In such situations, many writers decide to go for scramble writing whenever they find times even it’s only five minutes.

Scramble writing, isn’t it a fascinating term?

Scramble writing is something that I came up with while cursing myself every day for not writing much.

  • It is a brainstorming activity where you write whenever possible without thinking much about editing and perfecting statements.
  • Don’t overthink, just flow with the thoughts. Sometimes these tiny free moments can give you the best ideas.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi, just pretend it doesn’t exist. (This is the most important point in this whole article)

You spend your spare time staring at a wall instead of diving your head in writing

Magic can happen even in a second. Even when you are staring at the beauty of your wall, your mind is still processing some ideas.

  • When you can’t write sentences, write down those ideas.
  • Make a different list and call it (let’s say), Scramble Ideas. This is a place for you to add your spare-time-ideas.
  • Do it with a timer, you’ll know when to stop and you’ll feel competitive to write as many ideas as you can.
  • Next time, when you again feel the urge to stare at the wall, you’ll have something in your hand to focus on.
  • These ideas can be equally awesome and ridiculous. But don’t edit yet, just keep pouring down.
  • When you are stuck, then start writing your name. Even better, you can start writing about your dreams, write down what you want to be, let’s say “I want to have my own publishing business” or “I want to be a renowned writer”, anything that drives you to live your life every day.
  • This activity sounds easy, but it still needs practice and you can do it.
  • Writing this way helps you open your blocked thoughts and you know what to write and when to write even when you are way too busy.

You are already working on a writing project, but are stuck now

It sometimes feels boring or overwhelming when you are working on the same theme for a long time. You might have been constantly thinking about it and now you question yourself if it’s really worth it.

  • The best solution is to recall the reason why you started this project in the first place. Write it down and does it still sound relevant. What’s actually bugging you?
  • You started this work with something miraculous in your mind, the whole writing can’t be wrong. It can be a character or story twist that needs revision.
  • Write down all the possible solutions you can for a character or a storyline.
  • Take inspiration from other writers, better go for those who write for different genres than yours.
  • Mull about it when you are doing your household work. Seriously, the best ideas come when you are about to sleep, getting intimate, or taking a bath.
  • There are several creativity books as well that can help you find better solutions like ThinkerToys by Michael Michalko. This is the best one you can ever read on creativity.

You are fixed on one issue and it doesn’t seem to resolve anytime sooner

I oftentimes become obsessed with one silly point and forget the rest of the story like what should be the characters’ outfit or should I give an idea of the whole book in the first chapter or not. Will this keep the readers indulged or they’ll trash it away? There are so many valid and invalid reasons that don’t allow you to progress and you are fixed solving one issue.

Whether you are writing a book or an article, the first chapter or paragraph is always the most difficult one.

  • It’s easier to summarise the ending of your project than to proceed from the start, so why can’t you start working from the climax and then move backward?
  • Backward writing is unusual but it is highly effective. For example, you are a fiction writer. Your character is a 15-year-old boy who, in the end, decides to live in seclusion at the age of 40. Now, move a little back, how he found such a place, did he discussed his decision with family and friends, and so on. Instead of thinking about how he has grown up to become a recluse, write how he is feeling at the time of seclusion.
  • In the case of non-fiction writing, starting and ending are quite similar. At the start, you begin with what points you are going to discuss and in the end, you do a revision of all those points. As a non-fiction writer, if you can’t finish the first few chapters yet, then try summarising the points that you are going to discuss in different chapters. Unlike fiction writing where you add chapters to show twists and drama (I don’t mean to say they are unnecessary, they just require extreme thought process), in non-fiction writing each chapter, is added only if it adds value to your purpose. So, you can easily jot down points and then, elaborate it as different chapters with no restriction to start from the first chapter.

So, these are a few of my personally tested tips that you may help you too, to become a regular writer.

© 2020 Prachi Sharma


Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 17, 2020:

Quite interesting, I looked at this and think I will incorporate some ideas.

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