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Productive Procrastination: 7 Creative Activities to Distract Yourself from Writing

The procrastination mindset

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Once you have determined that procrastination is hurting your writing, begin taking notice of how long it actually takes you to write. Many students have a “page an hour” rule. Perhaps you can write a page in an hour if you are totally rested, fed, and focused, your roommate isn’t home, and the wind is blowing just right.

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Many writers procrastinate, but you can end writing procrastination and finish writing a novel with the help of these 7 easy steps.

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No wonder students get the idea that being a good writer is defined by not writing bad stuff. Unfortunately, in your own work, you are confronted with every clunky paragraph, every labored metaphor and unending story that refuses to come to a point. You might tell yourself or your spouse or your writer friends, “Well, I’m procrastinating about writing right now.” But really, you’re not. Let me explain what I mean. The truth about procrastination. The reality is, you are never procrastinating. I know! It feels like you are. But you’re not.

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Whatever the case, whether your procrastination stems from a single cause or all of them at once, knowing what lies at the root of your writing struggle is the first step to overcoming it. Step #2: Lessen the pain. Writing every day for 30 minutes is a surefire way to break the procrastination-perfectionism link. Our center recently hosted a Day Writing Challenge for faculty members, postdocs, and grad students from around the U.S.