The Easiest Way To Finish That Impossible First Draft

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Write a little bit at a time, and be consistent!

We all know that the number one killer of any writing process is procrastination. In fact, it took me over a month to complete this post! Ok, so It didn’t take me that long to write it, but it took me that long to finish it because I kept putting it off. I broke one of the golden rules of writing; to chip away a little each day. We all know how hard it can be to sit still and commit to writing. I write for a living and I still come up with creative ways to put off projects. I clean more than usual, find unimportant errands to run, and decide to start binge streaming a new series online. No matter how much I try to put it off, the outcome is inevitable, I’m going to have to get to writing whether I want to or not.

Instead of waiting to the last minute to begin a draft, try to piece it together bit by bit. Whether you write a page at a time, a paragraph, or a sentence, taking your draft step-by-step will not only help eliminate stress and anxiety but give you a continuous sense of accomplishment. 

Figure out a time of day that works for you. Are you a morning person that likes to take on tasks when you first wake up? Can you take a writing break midday? Or do you find most of your free time in the evening?  Pick a time block that works best for you and commit to working on your draft a little bit each day. If you are a really busy person and can almost never find free time at the same time every day, just sneak a break whenever you can and write for ten minutes. You can write on a notepad in the office, or in a notes app on your smartphone. The most important thing is to get writing early and often.

You should break down your writing schedule based on the desired length of your draft. If you are drafting something five pages long you should write about a page a day. If you are writing something much shorter, consider breaking up the writing into paragraphs that can be written at different intervals in one or two days.

Breaking down your writing tasks into digestible chunks will help the procrastinator in all of us feel less overwhelmed. This is especially true for anyone who hates writing but has to do it often. The strategy makes writing easier, introduces new ideas each time you revisit your work, and gives writers time to be thorough and eliminate their mistakes.

The next time you have some writing to do, don’t try to accomplish the feat in one sitting. Break it up, or down and attack it in smaller, easier to complete pieces.