Sunday, January 17, 2010


Pushing past...and getting to the good stuff

Recently, when I was working to finish revisions on a long project I started thinking about how a writer sometimes need to push past an area of revision or of writing that isn't working. Just getting to the next page, paragraph, sentence or word can help bring clarity to what the writer is working toward.
But what happens when nothing is coming? When you just can't think about it anymore?
Often what works for me when I'm stuck within a piece of writing is to stop in the middle of the process and to give myself some distance from that particular piece.
But I don't move away from my computer. I pick up another piece of writing. One I've been procrastinating getting into and start working with it. Ideally my first project is, let's say, nonfiction and the second project is completely different, perhaps fiction or poetry or corporate writing.
I find the change in the projects can be refreshing to my brain. The shift in gears helps me delve back into a project I've been putting off, whereas my brain also gets a different workout for a while.
In the end, I feel productive, regardless of how many words actually stay on the page and in the draft. That peace of mind, knowing that I've continued working, helps me return to the first project with less resistance.

What helps you to push past resistance in your writing?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and creativity coach, who wishes she viewed a a lush forest from her writing window. Besides contributing to AOL's ParentDish, she blogs at The Write Elizabeth, delving into creativity in everyday places.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009


Are you a procrastinator?

Some days I procrastinate more than others. You know those days. Five million assignments due and you decide it is the perfect day to clean the lint from your computer keyboard.
While, for me, one of the best ways to get through procrastination is to take small steps each day toward completing a project, I sometimes don't quite do as I suggest.
On those days with the to-do list bursting forth to a second page, take a deep breath and plunge in. What works for me is to take the one assignment I'm really dragging my feet on and pair it with one I'm excited to be writing or researching.
Then I promise myself that I cannot work on the "exciting" assignment until I've finished the one I've been dragging my feet on.
Re-ordering my assignments gives me a different priority list while allowing me to see the progress. Often I find that tackling a more difficult assignment also gets my writing muscles warmed up making the other assignments go that much faster.
What has worked for you when tackling a bout of procrastination?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and creativity coach. Besides contributing to AOL's ParentDish, she blogs at The Write Elizabeth, delving into creativity in everyday places and is planning a series of workshops. She is planning to wrestle with her to-do list ... tomorrow.

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