By Jennifer Blanchard
Over and over again, procrastinating writers tell themselves, “I should be writing” or “I should find time to write.”
The problem with telling yourself you “should” do something, however, is that you are forcing the task on yourself, which is the main reason why you procrastinate on it.
The word “should” has a very specific feeling. It feels like you’re not in control. It feels like someone or something else is making you do things you don’t really want to do.
When you tell yourself you “should” be doing something (like writing), you are ultimately telling yourself you have no other options. After all, the definition of the word should is “must.”
But by using the word “should” (or the word “must,” for that matter), you are taking your power away. You are giving your power to tasks that are now being forced on you, rather than tasks you are consciously choosing to take on.
Words like “should,” “must,” “have to,” etc., are poor word choices when it comes to getting writing done. Telling yourself you should be writing or you must write or you have to write makes you feel pressured to write.
And the most pressure you feel, the more you’ll fight the task at hand. This is when procrastination rears its ugly head.
Change Your Self-Talk For Good
Two of the most effective ways to get your writing are to believe in yourself and to change your self-talk.
Though you might not realize it, your self-talk is a huge part of what holds you back and keeps you procrastinating on the writing tasks you want to complete.
By making better word choices, you can easily change how you feel about writing.
For example, instead of saying “I should be writing right now,” tell yourself, “I want to be writing right now.” Or instead of saying, “I have to write for two hours tonight,” tell yourself “I choose to spend two hours of my time writing tonight.”
Words like “want” and “choose” are powerful words. They put the power back in your hands. They make it so you have the ultimate say-so in your life.
When you say that you want to write or are choosing to write, you’re making a conscious decision about how you are going to spend your time. You’re no longer forcing yourself to do things you really don’t want to do.
By making writing a choice—rather than a forced task—you are taking control. You are choosing what you want. You are becoming the creator of your own writing destiny.
That’s very powerful stuff.
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.