The Art of Procrastination. A Writer’s Guide.

Rayne Hall - Writing Meme - Twitter

1. Read this blog before you start today’s writing session.

2. Nobody can procrastinate all the time. Take a break now and then and write something. Then return to procrastination with renewed vigour.

3. Don’t waste your procrastination on unimportant matters.

4. Tidy your desk. You’ll write much better once the clutter has gone.

5. Prepare your writing session so you won’t be distracted once you start. Have everything ready: glass of water, cup of coffee, cupcakes, carrots, the right music playing, comfortable themed clothing, to-do list, dictionary, thesaurus, different coloured gel pens, how-to-write books, reference books, pictures for inspiration, incense, matches, good-luck charm, statue of writing deity or patron saint.

Rayne Hall - Writing Meme - Procrastination6. Let out the cat, feed the baby, groom the dog and do whatever else needs doing to guarantee that your writing session will not be disrupted.

7. Twitter is a useful procrastination tool. Have you checked your tweets yet today? It’ll only take a moment. Do it now, so you won’t need to interrupt your writing later.

8. Don’t underestimate the value of other social media networks. Even if you don’t plan to use them, they’re worth checking out. Just take a quick look at Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest,  Vimeo, Tumbler, StumbleUpon, FourSquare, Reddit, Wattpad, Flickr, DeviantArt, Delicious, GoodReads and BookLikes. Create any accounts you don’t yet have.

9. Time spent on social media is never wasted. You’re networking, which practically counts as writing.

10. Your blog is overdue. Come on, it won’t take you long to dash off 300 words for your blog. Get it out of the way before you start working on your novel.

11.  Let sales statistics for your published books boost your writing motivation. Quickly check today’s sales on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes&Noble and Draft2Digital, worry or rejoice as appropriate, and to get a true picture, ask other authors how their sales are doing.

Rayne Hall - Writing Meme - Don't Waste12. While you’re at it, see if your published books have entered any bestseller lists today. If yes, spread the word.

13. Unless you check your email now, you won’t know if a publisher has accepted your novel.

14. You’ve been sitting at your desk too long. Do some light aerobics to loosen up.

15. Oh, rats. Your coffee has gone cold. Get a fresh cup.

16. Comment on this article before you start writing. It’s only common courtesy.

17. Read and reply to the comments other people have left. It’ll only take a second, honest, or maybe two if required to sign in or up.

18. Share this with at least three people before you start writing. The convenient share buttons at the bottom of the page save you time.

19. If you’ve read this far, you qualify for membership in the Procrastinating Writers Club. Tweet me @RayneHall and I’ll put you on the #shoutout list. Do it now, while you’re logged into Twitter.

20. Make a firm resolution that tomorrow you will really write.

Please click any of the cartoons to read more about author/editor Rayne Hall and her books.

Cartoons by Hanna-Riikka, © Rayne Hall



, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Caleb Pirtle

    Very clever, Rayne, and it rings of truth. We are all guilty from time to time. We do anything we can to keep from writing the first word of the day because when it’s written we’re committed to keep writing.

    • Rayne Hall

      🙂 I think you’re right. The danger of procrastination is strongest before we start writing. Once we’ve started, we usually can keep going without succumbing to temptation.

      • Rayne, so true! I know that if I want to work on my novel I have to STAY AWAY FROM THE INTERNET!!

        But your guide to procrastination is hilarious, well done! Some writers though (Robert Stone recently on the Wall Street Journal) admit to spending afternoons in the saloon boozing it up: another excellent way to procrastinate! Though perhaps better fitted to a man (have you seen his picture? I bet he’s spent a lot of time in saloons!!)

        • Rayne Hall

          Yes, the internet is a handy procrastination tool. My personal temptations are Twitter, computer games and “research” (“Research” is a wonderful word for procrastinating writers. lol.)
          Booze and bars don’t appeal to me, but you’ve made me curious. Maybe I’ll check out Robert Stone quickly before I start writing. 😀

          • Brian Triplett

            Ah yes… Research… Sometimes I’m actually doing something useful (such as looking up stuff about the latest Facebook update for an article, or learning more about some new crisis in the Middle East), but more often than not it’s more like “How did the second verse of that song go?” or “Isn’t there a Paul Reed Smith guitar with a swamp ash body and three P-90 pickups?” or “Didn’t I see that guy in an episode of ‘The Rockford Files’?”

          • Rayne Hall
  • Debbie Christiana

    LOL, Rayne. Great post. I know you’re a Twitter girl but FB is my procrastination pleasure. Loved number 5. I do all that. Place my candles just right, scroll through Pandora playlists to find the ‘perfect’ music, get comfortable and ready to…log onto FB 🙂

    • Rayne Hall

      🙂 Playing the perfect music for our writing can help. Searching for the perfect music is…. well… ahem.
      I can imagine Facebook has even more procrastination power than Twitter, because Facebook is designed to keep people on the Facebook site as long as possible; that’s how Facebook makes money.

  • Nina Benneton

    Hahahah! My excuse here is that I always read any blog post Rayne Hall writes for the wisdom (I don’t see kissing up to your writing teacher on the list? 😉 ). Now, back to work… soon!

    • Rayne Hall

      😀 That’s a new excuse!

  • coleenjb1969

    Awesome (and SO TRUE!) post, Rayne. When do I get my Procrastinating Writers Club badge? 🙂

  • “16. Comment on this article before you start writing. It’s only common courtesy.”

    I’m appalled you didn’t mention Sudoku, Spider solitaire, or Freecell. Your procrastinating needs some updating.

    And naps. You didn’t mention naps.

    And you left off /sarcasm at the end to turn that font off.

    Otherwise, perfect.

    • Rayne Hall

      Thank you, Alica. I’ll take a note of the refinements you suggest. Actually, I might try Freecell right now. I haven’t played it for a while, and the writing can wait.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        World of Warcraft is not procrastination. It is a lifestyle. 😉

        • Rayne Hall

          Could it be that you’re not a true Procrastinating Writer, but rather a WoWer who uses writing as form of procrastination?

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            That’s possible I suppose. =)

  • venkyiyer58

    I will come back tomorrow and comment. I am procrastinating right now.

    • Rayne Hall

      Don’t waste your procastrination on umimportant matters 😉

  • Pam Roller

    Lovely post. Now to return my attention to Candy Crush…

    • Rayne Hall


  • Great post. I seem to procrastinate more depending on the kind of writing I’m supposed to be doing.

    • Rayne Hall

      Sometimes I procrastinate by doing a different kind of writing than I’m supposed to be doing.

  • Oh, my. This is almost a snapshot of my life. Are you in NSA?

    • Rayne Hall

      We’ve placed bugs in your writing room. 😉

  • No worries then; they’ll be crushed by the mess.

    • Rayne Hall

      Beware. Your mess has been filmed by our bugs as well. It will be broadcast via the social media. Unless you pay up.

      • Now you’re getting me worried, very worried.

        • Rayne Hall
  • William Wilkins

    Good grief! Procrastination, as you describe it, seems far less attractive than just sitting my butt down at my desk and writing! Love this!

  • Mark Cassell

    Procrastination is a demon we all share. Hey guys, what else shall we do before we each go our separate ways and get on with that thing we call writing?

  • Marie Bailey

    My biggest procrastination tool is my day job … And there I procrastinate further by checking Twitter which is how I wound up here 🙂

  • Bev R. Sninchak

    Love this! Thanks 😉

Related Posts