Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a great time during the past week of holiday cheer. I know I sure did!
As you all know, this is the time where people make New Year’s resolutions. Where they make a promise to themselves to meet a goal or better themselves. I’ve done it a few times….and lasted all of two weeks. New record. By two weeks.
This year my resolution is to be better at procrastinating. No, not better doing it more but being smarter about it.
Lets face it, most of the artistic people in my life have one quality trait in common and that’s procrastination. We’re masters at it. I am quite skilled in the way of procrastination myself. But it’s not always a bad thing! If you’re trying to write a book, sometimes you need to step away and let your brain wonder on other things. It gives yourself a break, a chance to refresh your creative juices, and to rethink the direction you’re going. Trying to sit down and hammer out an entire novel without giving your brain a chance to reset can result in a story that sounds forced and dry.
Of course too much of anything can be bad, but I believe you can use procrastination in a beneficial way. The following tips are going to be my top three ways of being a beneficial procrastinator while trying to finish your novel. You’re going to see a common theme among these tips, see if you can spot it.
1. Create a soundtrack
This is something I love to do. Listen and explore all sorts of music. Find out what sounds like your book. What’s the tone? Is the song dark and you’re writing a thriller? Do the words express the same emotions your characters are feeling in a particular chapter? This is always really fun to put together, then to play while writing. I find if I’ve taken a long break from writing my book, listening to the playlist I created helps me jump back in where I left off.
Search for pictures that remind you of your world you are creating. Is there a carnival scene and a picture of a Ferris wheel that you think reflects the one in your head? Are you writing a fantasy and there’s a picture of a particularly cool looking house that would fit your world? By doing this, it really helps you visualize and make your book seem more real. Maybe you find a picture that fits your book but there isn’t a specific thing it represents, that’s totally fine! Books start off as abstract ideas anyway. It will still help you get a feel for things.
3. Cast your ‘movie’
This is my favorite form of beneficial procrastination. Pretend your book was picked up by a company like Warner Brothers or Lionsgate. It’s going to be a movie and you get to cast every character in your book and no actor would turn it down. Who are your favorite actors? Who do you think would do your characters justice? Who fits your characters physically?
So those are my top three ways of being a beneficial procrastinator. Did you catch the theme? Stay thinking about your story! Keep it running through your brain in someway. It will help so much when you’re stuck with writers block.
So the next time you open up a window to stare blankly at Facebook, try opting for one of these options. Your story will thank you.