Just the thought of writing articles strikes fear into many marketer’s hearts and causes them to procrastinate. They know they need to write; they need to stop procrastinating and start writing.
Many marketers lack confidence while others lack the self-discipline writing requires, so they put writing on the back burner.
But make no mistake; as an online business owner and marketer, you need to hone your writing skills. You need to write emails, ad and sales copy, articles, blog posts, etc.
Yes, you’ve heard you should use PLR for your content ad nauseam. And that is true. But don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
You can outsource your writing to others, but that becomes expensive. And you can’t always count on others to complete writing tasks on time. You need to proofread and edit, as well.
So, if you don’t like to write or dread the thought of writing, you need to get over it. You need to publish articles on your blog regularly.
You need to stop procrastinating and start writing.
The key to overcoming procrastination and getting your writing done will come down to you applying a few simple techniques.
5 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing
Writing is hard work; there’s no doubt about it. Even if you’re a good writer with a flair for the art, the act of putting pen to paper (or keyboard to screen) takes discipline.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
– Stephen King
1. Establish a Daily Routine
We cannot overstate the importance of establishing a daily routine. You have to make writing a habit.
What does that mean?
It means you have to spend some time writing every single day, at the same time every day. Think of it as going to work.
For example, sit down at the same desk at the same place, every single day at 9 AM to write.
By establishing a routine, it will be easier to comply. You’ll be less resistant since it’s an established habit.
But should you write on weekends?
It’s a good idea to write on weekends, but for a shorter duration. Your resistance won’t get a chance to build up, and you have more time to rest. A short 20-30 minutes of writing will do the trick.
Begin by focusing on the habit. You’ve probably heard this before,” An object at rest stays at rest. An object in motion stays in motion.” The statement applies to writers, as well. ‘Resting’ is another means of procrastinating.
2. Write in Blocks of Time
How much you can write and how long you can write will depend on your typing/writing speed. It will also depend on your writing ‘stamina.’ An experienced writer could write for 4 hours without any breaks.
A beginner writer may feel mentally drained after an hour. They lack writing stamina, but you can build this gradually. Ideally, aim to work in 2-hour blocks.
For example, write from 9-11 AM and take a break for an hour and write again from 12-2 PM. In this way, you’d get 4 hours of writing done.
Depending on your writing stamina, you may wish to start with 30-minute writing sprints, followed by a 15-minute break. Then start for another 30 minutes, and so on.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. As long as you’re striving to build your writing stamina, you’re on the ‘write’ track. Pun intended.
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” – Joseph Heller
3. Perform Writing Tasks in Batches
Planning, researching, outlining, writing and editing are 5 distinct tasks. Never try to do them all at the same time. This practice will tire you out. Additionally, it’s very time-consuming and unproductive.
Batching your tasks means getting similar jobs done at once. Batching tasks not only simplifies the process but helps to accelerate it while increasing your output. It’s a win-win-win situation.
For example, if your goal is to write 10 articles on gardening, your first task will be to decide what topics you’ll cover.
Then you need to do your research for ALL 10 articles.
Once you’ve completed the research, outline each article with brief points you compiled from that research.
When all that’s done, you’re ready to start writing and keep writing without editing. Always remember the quote, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”
When you’ve written all 10 articles, go ahead and edit them individually. By batching your tasks this way, you’ll save time. Your writing process will not be a hot mess, disjointed and confusing.
4. Focus Your Writing on Quality, Not Quantity
Avoid perfectionism at all costs. It’s not natural, and nothing is ever perfect. Your goal is to aim for excellence. Write quality content that you can be proud of.
Do not focus on the quantity of the content. The amount of content you produce is not nearly as important as the quality.
At some point, you’ll notice that on some days, you manage to write 5 pages in 2 hours. Yet, your writing for these 5 pages is far superior to the 15 pages you wrote on a previous day.
The point here is your goal should be to start writing and stay focused during your writing block. The amount of content you create shouldn’t matter. Setting a goal of writing 20 pages a day is counter-productive and will stress you out.
Good writing takes time. Quality and quantity are two different metrics; never confuse the two.
Your goal is to write content that informs and moves your readers. And you want to do so with as few words as possible. In this instance, less is better.
That’s a real skill and a sign of good writing. Focus on quality and forget about quantity.
“Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour
5. Use the Two-Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing
Author David Allen first mentioned this rule, and it’s a powerful technique of overcoming procrastination. It works with most activities that people tend to put off until later. Examples are exercise, studying, chores, and, yes, writing.
The rule is simple. When you’re facing a task that you don’t wish to do, like writing, give yourself just 2 minutes to work on it.
It’s as simple as that. 2 short minutes.
This time is short enough for it not to be overwhelming, but it’s also long enough to break the wall of inertia and get you moving.
You’ll often notice that once you start writing for 2 minutes, you’ll carry on long after the 2 minutes are over. You just might write for the next 2 hours.
You’ll then wonder what made you hesitate in the first place. It wasn’t that bad, was it?
Of course, it wasn’t.
You just discovered a mysterious anomaly when it comes to writing. Getting yourself to sit down and start is usually a bigger barrier than the actual act of writing.
But now, you have the key to beat the Master of Procrastination of the writing universe. Yes, that means you.
All it takes is 2 minutes.
It’s important to understand that the act of writing is not as dreadful as the thought of doing it. You might even enjoy the process and find it unleashes your creativity and your personality.
The more you write, the better you become. You might even come to enjoy a sense of satisfaction knowing you triumphed over your fear.
Now you know how easy it is to stop procrastinating and start writing. Apply the tips discussed in this article and get to it!
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