How To Stop Thinking and Start Writing

One of the main ideas discussed in this blog is how to actually sit down and start writing. It seems like every writer I know is better at it than I am. In fact, I sometimes even feel a bit jealous of my writer friends who are actually writing.

The good news is: we’re not alone! Lots of writers feel this way.

Take Jane Northcote, for instance. She recently wrote her first book, started a blog, and she also wrote an amazing guest post on Copyblogger (yes, I love this site!) called “Getting Writing Done: How to Stop Thinking About It and Start Writing.”

Here are the 7 steps she recommends all writers follow–or at least those who are finding it hard to sit down and write:

1) Remember why you’re writing, and write it down first–Jane says that if you remind yourself about what the chapter/article/paper you’re writing will do for you (get you a good grade in school, impress your boss, get you a publishing deal, etc), you will be more likely to take action and start writing.

2) Stop using energy thinking about it and just do it–This one’s self-explanatory.

3) Remember the actions are finite–Once it’s done, it’s done!

4) Ask someone to manage you–This step works especially well for me personally. I have a good friend in California who is also a writer, and her and I check in with each other once a week to make sure we’re staying on top of our writing projects. Having someone to monitor my progress makes me a lot more focused because, as you all know, writing is a solitary task, so having a friend to lean on every once in a while makes life (and writing!) so much easier.

5) Tell a large number of people you’ll do it–The idea behind this one is not wanting to disappoint people. If you tell a large number of people that you’re going to have such-and-such written by a certain date, then they will not only hold you accountable, but you will most likely hold yourself accountable, as well.

6) Find something you enjoy and treat yourself–writing is a lot easier to handle when you’re doing it somewhere that you enjoy, like your favorite Starbucks location or from your front porch swing. You get the idea…

7) Do nothing else–Also self-explanatory!

And, actually, Jane’s post inspired me to stop thinking and start writing. I’ve recently begun the planning/proposal stages of a non-fiction book about writing.

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How about you? What are you currently working on? Or if you can’t seem to get started, what’s holding you back?

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