PDA

View Full Version : How to overcome laziness



Belkarsbadside1
2010-02-24, 04:17 PM
I have all of these good ideas about stories or poems, but I get distracted or lose interest, or just can't be bothered to finish them. How do some other people overcome their laziness and distractions? Does anyone have any advice?

Drakevarg
2010-02-24, 04:23 PM
I have this problem alot, myself. Sadly the only cures I know for it right now are "wait for inspiration to strike" or "find appropriately atmospheric music."

The former is really not an option and the second one is harder than it sounds.

Ninjamuffin
2010-02-24, 06:11 PM
It helps if you have other people involved. I wouldn't get half as much done if there were not peoples waiting around for me to do stuff.

Bisected8
2010-02-24, 06:19 PM
I find forcing myself to get up early (6 or 7 AM should do it) helps (I don't know how). Just make sure you go to bed early enough to compensate (you'll need to work out how much sleep you need; typically between 8-10 hours).

There's nothing like that moment when you've just properly woken up and you've got an entire day's energy at your disposal.

Drakevarg
2010-02-24, 06:28 PM
There's nothing like that moment when you've just properly woken up and you've got an entire day's energy at your disposal.

I'm sure its wonderful. Tell me about it sometime, because I've never experienced it myself.

I only ever wake up in two conditions:
1) I haven't gotten enough sleep and am almost too tired to move.
2) I've been asleep for most of the day and I mostly just decide to get up because theres stuff needs doing.

Helanna
2010-02-26, 10:53 AM
I'm sure its wonderful. Tell me about it sometime, because I've never experienced it myself.

I only ever wake up in two conditions:
1) I haven't gotten enough sleep and am almost too tired to move.
2) I've been asleep for most of the day and I mostly just decide to get up because theres stuff needs doing.

It happens to me, every once in a glorious while. Unfortunately, the energy wears off in about an hour.

Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/)? It's designed to combat just this. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. The official month is November, but you can do it whenever you want (although it is a lot easier to be motivated when everyone else is doing it with you).

Other than that, try to find the best time for inspiration. My best time is somewhere around midnight to two o'clock am, so unfortunately that doesn't really happen very often.

If all else fails, just try forcing yourself into it. Set aside a time for writing and just write something, even if it's just a description of your day.

You could also check out our nice Writer's Workshop, linked in my sig! We love fresh meatnew people down there! And seriously, it can help a lot with planning, ideas, or critiques. (That is, if you're not already part of it. I can't remember right now.)

truemane
2010-02-26, 01:08 PM
You ever hear the expression that decisions get made by the people who show up? It refers to the fact that, no matter what your title or your power or your influence, it's the people that come to the meetings and do the work that actually get things done. And it's true.

Well, writing gets done by the people that show up. You can have all the talent in the world, the best ideas and the greatest characters and romance novels about sparkling supernatural cradle-robbers might spring from your forehead every morning, but if you don't write it down, it means nothing. Full stop.

So. What you do is write. Period. I know that doesn't sound like much help. But it's like exercise. No one LIKES to exercise. People like to HAVE exercised. Same thing. No one likes to write. They like to HAVE written.

So you do one of two things:

1. Decide on a minimum number of hours per week that you'll write

Or...

2. Decide on a minimum number of words per week.

And then you walk over your own mother to make sure you do it. Even if all you do for your five hours/5,000 words per week is sit there and write "I hate writing" over and over and over again until it's bed time. The real secret to writing, the thing that most people never figure out, is that inspiration happens while you're doing it. Not before.

You might sit down in such a bad mood that you'd rather dip your face in a bowl full of scorpions rather than open Microsoft Word, but you sit and you do it anyway. And you start writing. Even if it sucks. Even if it's stupid. Even if it's just "I hate this story and I hate writing and I hate my life and I'll never achieve my dreams and I'll die penniless in a gutter and no one will ever love me..."

And I bet you a shiny new dime that, if you keep at it for a few days, the ideas will start coming. And they'll start coming faster, easier and better. And soon enough you'll get a taste for it and you'll want more of it and soon enough after that it'll be like heroin and sex all rolled into one and you'll never look back.

Writing is a habit first. And like all changes in habit, you have to do the work. The good part is, once you've done the work, like losing weight or getting fit or learning an instrument or mastering a martial art or whatever, the benefits outweigh the costs by such an enormous margin that you'll wonder why it took you so long to do it.

And if you say that you don't want to be a professional writer, you just want to write more, the advice is the same. There'll always be something you'd rather do that anything that requires effort. Welcome to the human race. The trick is to establish a habit. And keep it.

Dallas-Dakota
2010-02-26, 01:36 PM
I'l ermmm, get back to you.

Belkarsbadside1
2010-02-26, 06:45 PM
ummmmmmm, Truename, that seeems to only help those who are self motivated. Personally I've tried that and I always end up thinking 'I'll do it later'. I don't have the willpower to force myself to write.

truemane
2010-02-26, 10:28 PM
ummmmmmm, Truename, that seeems to only help those who are self motivated. Personally I've tried that and I always end up thinking 'I'll do it later'. I don't have the willpower to force myself to write.

My point was that, in my long and varied experience with writing and with writers, there aren't really any tricks. You just do it. Like exercise. Or housework. Or blogging. Or quitting smoking. Or eating healthy. Or any other sort of positive habit that you want to add to your life.

If there were a 'trick' that actually worked, then that would be all anyone would ever do. But there isn't.

That's all.

AJWB
2010-02-28, 06:37 PM
ummmmmmm, Truename, that seeems to only help those who are self motivated. Personally I've tried that and I always end up thinking 'I'll do it later'. I don't have the willpower to force myself to write.

Well, I hate to say it, but you can't be a writer if you aren't self-motivated. If you don't have the willpower, find a way to get it. If you keep saying you'll do it later, you will never, ever do it. Period. End of story.

Here's a technique: Buy a laptop that has nothing on it but a word processor, get a friend to lock you in a room, and tell them to not let you out for an hour. If you can't afford a laptop, delete everything on your current computer except the word processor.

The only thing preventing you from writing is you. You write on this forum. Why not write in Word or Notepad?

@Truemane: Have you read James Scott Bell's writing books?