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By Johannes Helmold

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writing laziness

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a feeling like I don’t want to write. Like when I have ideas, and plans, and everything, I feel like doing something else, or procrastinating a bit more, or anything else like that. I believe it is nothing more than trivial laziness, and to fight it, I’ve created a short list of thoughts and activities that help me get back into a working mood.

Here are some of the tips I regularly use to deal with my laziness (some of them are contradictory, but only because there is no universal way to deal with laziness: one day I use this, another day I use that, and both methods help).

Forget about your goals. This may sound like a paradox, but being too focused on a goal can sometimes be counter-productive. In this case, your goal turns into something overwhelming, something you are obliged to reach. “I must finish my book by October,” “I need this essay ready by Friday,” “I decided to write ten short stories in a row….” Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Relax: writing, be it academic or creative, is fun. Remember: writing is playing with words!

Give yourself a break. A wise man said once: you cannot pour tea in a cup that is already full. If you are feeling lazy, let yourself be lazy for a while. Empty the cup!

Take a walk and switch to other activities. It really helps.

Decrease your pace of writing for some time. Maybe, you’re associating writing with the high intensity of writing. Allow yourself to work in a relaxed and irresponsible way.

Remember the Pareto law: 20% of effort gives 80% of the result. It makes you feel psychologically easier. “So, I don’t have to work at 100% to achieve results? Okay, I can afford those 20% to myself.” Surprisingly, this 20% of effort can yield solid outcomes.

Read about laziness and procrastination. The Internet is full of articles on these topics, and most likely one of them will motivate you.

Talk to your friends about the topics you raise in your novel, short story, essay, or academic paper. Talking is easier than writing, so psychologically it will be easier for you to talk your book, so to say, than to write it. During such conversations, tons of cool ideas are usually produced, so you may feel an urge to go back home and write everything down even before your meeting with your friends is over!

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