By Alanna Klapp
My formula to prevail over procrastination last year: keep a log, eat a frog and write a blog.
I attended writers’ conferences in March and September, and took two workshops: “Writing for the Web” and “Raising Your Internet Profile 101.” John Ettorre and Liz Adair imparted knowledge on blogs.
As part of the research process for the guest host interviews I do with The Writing Show, a podcast that provides information and inspiration for writers, I read blogs. I also read the blogs of writers I meet at conferences and online. In April, I became brave enough to leave comments and started to build what is now a solid network of writers.
While I concentrated on others’ blogs, research and interviews, I didn’t spend sufficient hours on my writing projects.
For this reason I purchased Kelly L. Stone’s Time to Write. I developed two habits after I read this book:
- I treated writing like a part-time job
- I kept a writing log. The log, handwritten in the blank “notes” pages of my planner, contained the hours and minutes I worked. I set a goal of writing 10 hours per week.
I started the log on May 11, 2009. The first week, I logged six hours and 30 minutes. For the next two weeks I wrote four hours, and since then I’ve worked as few as 64 minutes and as many as 19 hours, for an average of 8.5 hours per week.
This is shy of my original 10 hours, but I consider it part-time job status.
This continued until around Thanksgiving, when a co-worker loaned me Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.
This book is geared toward business professionals, but I read it as if it were written for writers. The book tells you how to make and prioritize lists. The concept of Eat That Frog is, if the first thing you do is eat a live frog, it’s feasible that’s the worst thing that’ll happen to you all day. The “frog” is the largest, most important task.
At the end of the first chapter is an exercise that asks the reader to write a list of 10 goals. Tracy advises to write in the present tense and first person so the subconscious mind accepts the goal right away.
I wrote a list of 10, with goal number four inscribed as, “I blog.” I implemented Tracy’s techniques, wrote my first blog post on December 7, 2009, and to date I’ve blogged nine times for 10 followers.
To battle and overcome procrastination on a daily basis, I keep a log, eat a frog and write a blog.
To learn more about the log and the frog, I urge you to read Stone’s and Tracy’s books. As for blogs, there are resources and classes for writers who want to join the blogosphere.
I believe logs, frogs and blogs are the tools we need to equip ourselves against procrastination.
About the Author: Alanna Klapp is a writer and guest host for The Writing Show, a podcast that provides information and inspiration for writers. She placed second in the Lea Leever Oldham essay contest in 2005. She blogs at Wandering the Mind of Alanna Klapp and contributes to the Cleveland Browns blog Bitter Orange & Brown.
Alanna is the second place winner of the first Procrastinating Writers “How I Overcame My Procrastination This Year” essay contest. Be sure to read winner Sara Lambert’s essay, and come back to the blog on Thursday to read third-place-winner, Karin Englund’s essay.
Ed. Note: There are links (above) to the two books Alanna Klapp mentions in her post. They are not affiliate links. Just helpful links so you can find the books if you are interested in learning more about them.