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Stop Procrastinating! Start Writing!

Updated on July 15, 2011

Procrastination is probably one of a writer’s worst enemies; if not the worst enemy.

I have been writing online for almost a year now and I can honestly say there are three things that get in the way of my writing: a lousy mood, a demanding client (from my full-time job), and plain laziness a.k.a. procrastination. Luckily, for the first one, I’m a person who quickly bounces back from such a mood. I just give it an hour or so then I’m back to writing articles or hubs or reports or blogs again.

For the second one, well, this can’t be avoided. I mean it’s my day job and until I go full-time in online writing, I just have to contend with my main bread-and-butter.

But the third, on procrastination, now this is tricky. I actually consider procrastination my worst enemy! And I know for sure lots of writers out there suffer from the same malady. Procrastination can do a lot of things (negative ones) to one’s writing career. Actually, it can do bad things to any career but it can be pretty devastating to a writer. Think I’m exaggerating? Let me just go into some examples why procrastinating can be bad for an online writing career.

  1. You Missed Your Chance. You saw a project that you are interested in and want to bid for. You already have a killer proposal that you know is guaranteed to get you that job. But you procrastinate and did not send it. Or, you saw the project, you want to bid for it but you defer bidding until the last minute and by that time, it’s already too late. The client awarded the job to someone else. Sounds familiar?
  2. You Missed Your Deadline. You got the order or project. Hurray for you! You take note of the deadline, the date and time when you will be required to submit your work. But you keep on hemming and hawing when it comes to writing the required article. Until finally, you just missed your deadline! Okay, you can always say “but I can still ask for an extension!” That’s good but how many times will you be given an extension? I used to do that, ask for a 24-hour or 48-hour extension, but I made it a point not to because I know I’ll encounter somebody who will not be so willing to give me that extension. Plus the online writing site where I am now has a feedback system and what do you know? The first comment they will give to you is that you are not prompt in submitting your work and keep on asking for an extension. Not a good comment, not good at all.
  3. You End Up Cramming. Okay, you didn’t extend the deadline. But you still procrastinate and your procrastination led you to cram the whole night just to finish the article for submission tomorrow. And this is sooooo applicable to me. I sometimes end up working the whole day just to finish a 4-page article that I need to submit after 24 hours, which will lead me to my next example.
  4. You Produce Crappy Work. This may not exactly be applicable to a crammer who is an excellent writer; he or she can turn up an exceptional work even after cramming for it. But for us lesser mortals, this can really be a realistic effect of procrastinating and then, cramming. If you cram, you’ll have less time to produce your work. By the time you finish the draft, you’ll be very cross-eyed and very tired from all that thinking and typing, you’ll not be in any position to proofread and edit your work. Good if you have a proofreader or an editor to help you, but if you’re all alone, good luck to you!
  5. Your Work Starts to Pile Up. Now this I’ve experienced in more than one instance in the past. I bid for jobs with deadlines a few days apart. Have enough time to finish them all (on time)? I sure did. But did I finish them all on time? Good question. Good thing if no urgent matters crop up. But if there’s an emergency? Bad luck. You procrastinate, your work will just pile up and then you cram and then you produce the crappy work, not to mention that you will miss your deadline (causing you to cram again). It’s a vicious cycle.
  6. You Procrastinate More. Once you start procrastinating, chances are you’ll lose your motivation to continue with the work (because you know that there are more things that you must do afterwards). Your work becomes unpleasant the more you put it (a.k.a. procrastinate) off. And because you lose interest on your work, you procrastinate more.

Conquer Your Procrastination! Act Now!

So how do you deal with procrastination? Here are just some of the ways that you can conquer procrastination:

  • Stay Motivated. Think about why you’re doing this in the first place. What is really your motivation? If it (online writing) doesn’t work, do you still want to return to that 9-to-5 job that you once had? Believe me, just thinking about going back to full-time work will get your creative juices flowing and stop your procrastination.
  • Set Your Goals. And stick to them. Write down those goals, write down your schedules then stick them all up somewhere where you can easily see and refer to them. Nothing beats procrastination than seeing in black and white what you want to achieve and what you need to do to achieve them.
  • Break It Down. If you have a big job to do then break it down to small manageable tasks. This will stop you from getting overwhelmed from all those things you have to do. If you’re not overwhelmed, you stop procrastinating. When you start achieving your small tasks, you become more enthusiastic to finish the rest. Before you know it, you finished the whole job!
  • Relax. Breathe. Drop the anxiety and just sit back and relax. Or walk around. Or call a friend for some chitchat. Or better yet, go out with them for coffee or a short dinner. Sure this will eat up on your time but, rather than spending your time procrastinating and basically achieving nothing, maybe some time out will get you motivated again to do your work. At the least, you’ll have somebody whom you can talk to just to relieve the tension you are feeling.
  • Know Yourself. Know your limitations as well. When do you do your best work? Is it in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening or early in the morning? Don’t force yourself to work when you know you will not be able to achieve anything at all during this time. If you do your best work in the evening, plan for it so that there will be no distractions and you can just do things your own way.
  • Get Off the Forums. And pace yourself. I don’t mean just the Hubpages forums. I mean all kinds of forums on the Internet. I know, I know, they’re great for networking, creating backlinks for your hubs or blogs, getting you more clients, etc., etc. But there’s such a thing as too much forum-ing because such leads to procrastination. It’s okay for you to go into them but if you know you have something to do or to finish, get off them and get off them now!

Well, I do hope that this hub helps a writer stop procrastinating and start writing. Believe me when I say I’m a procrastinator, and a crammer and a last-minute writer, but I’m learning to conquer these slowly but surely. Because in the end, a person is just his or her own worst enemy and procrastinating can certainly slow down one’s success, whether in online writing, offline writing or whatever career he or she has out there. So, what’s the battle cry again? Stop Procrastinating! Start writing! Good luck.

But there is a way to beat them,

And I will tell you how:

If you have a task or duty.

Do it well, and do it now.

I just found this wonderful little poem from my book "Quiet Moments with God (for Mothers)". The source is unknown but this poem seems to sum it all:

"How and When"

We are often greatly bothered

By two fussy little men,

Who sometimes block our pathway

Their names are How an When.

If we have a task or duty

Which we can put off a while,

And we do not go and do it

You should see those two rogues smile!

Why do you procrastinate?

See results

Do you procrastinate? Share your thoughts.

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    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Ellinor. We're all guilty of procrastination. Especially if there's a forum nearby :D.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      That is a very good hub-Just do it. Especially the thing about spending time in the forums.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 

      8 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Wow, great motivator. I am new to writing but have always been creative and love it. Doing it only four months but have had writters blok once already. Started last month to write again and do so every day. It's to easy to put it to one side, but I have made it my daily me time. Thanks for sharing your tips, way to go!!

    • _cheryl_ profile image


      9 years ago from California

      Thanks Emie for a motivating reminder! I do agree that sometimes you just have to relax. In fact it's when I'm not trying that I find inspirations. =)

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks CVR. Thanks also for becoming my fan :).

      Feline, LOL, that's a wonderful comment. It sounds almost poetic :).

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      Let me not procrastinate any longer before I go and become your fan! :)

    • C.V.Rajan profile image


      9 years ago from Kerala, India

      Ah! I am not alone in the wonder world of procrastinators! All tips and tricks are alright, but let me read them ............later!


    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hey Duchess, thanks so much for dropping by. I've been guilty of reading your hubs but failing to leave a comment. I'll try to lessen my forum 'trolling' and to increase the number of hubs I read everyday. We're all guilty of procrastination and I think I have my share more than others LOL.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      I KNOW I am a procrastinator because I keep getting side tracked. So many good writers here, so much to read. I don't even have time for the forums becuase I get side tracked reading you all!

      This is a great hub, and I'm off to read the others that are related. I am so looking for work as a writer. I will keep trying, and keep reading.

      Thank you

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      You're welcome Katelyn. Thanks for the comment :).

    • Katelyn Weel profile image

      Katelyn Weel 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Bookmarked! you've got some really good suggestions here, Emievil.. thanks for sharing!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      That's a very nice comment keira. Thank you and may we all be always motivated in writing :).

    • keira7 profile image


      9 years ago

      I find the motivation for writing just after reading your hub, thank you very muche Emievil. See you soon.:)

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks missalyssa. :)

    • missalyssa profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub and topic!! Wouldn't change a thing!! Procrastination is the worst enemy of a writer - you are SOOOOO right!!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Brenda. Nice description - the thief of time. Love to add that in my hub :).

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Procrastination the thief of time how write, or right even you are

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      My Digest, I experience that also plus a blank face / mind LOL. Sometimes I just find myself writing even when I don't feel like it then gradually pick up my momentum as my desire to write comes back. And sometimes, well, it's just no use. So I turn off the computer and take a walk or do something else. Thanks for dropping by and reading my hub.

    • My Digest profile image

      My Digest 

      9 years ago

      When I don't feel like writing, I end up with a blank computer screen or paper. Geee...I should just write huh?

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks BookFlame.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are absolutely right, girl! Important advice for wannabes.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      LOL, then we must be cousins because that's my middle name also! I'm so a crammer (not the rare breed ones at that) even back from my school days! You're welcome and thanks for visiting my hub.

      Wow, you're coming back huh? Welcome back in advance :).

    • green light profile image

      green light 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You know what? I have always thought that my middle name should be "procrastina" hahaha!!! I just wonder how I ever get by with loads of stuffs and undertakings with this terrible terrible attitude! Well, you're so right, people like me always resort to cramming that does lead to crappy work! And those rare breed who can cram and still produce great work!? now that is a gift!

      Thanks for sharing this great hub!

      BTW, im going back home, gotta have some tokneneng!!!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Dolores. I think you're not alone. Procrastination is a part of my life, that's why I'm so used at cramming :).

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      emi - procrastination is such a problem for me, my whole life. Actually, it can be almost crippling. And, of course, things do actually get in the way of your goals, sometimes important things, so it can be hard to achieve a balance. Great hub!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Jeffrey. 50 topics for hubs! I barely have 10. Go, go, go, write all of them :). We'll be waiting for those hubs.

      Dave, LOL, thanks for the compliment. You can procrastinate anytime if you read my hubs. j/k. thanks for the comment.

      WRKennedy, those words sound familiar. I guess I did that also to my husband and my niece. They want me to do something and I'll just defer those stuff because I'm writing. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. :)

    • WRKennedy profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Well put! I'm actually the opposite. I love writing, so I will tend to put off other things. Walk the dog? Yeah, I'll get to it. Grocery shopping? Yeah, in a minute. Homework help? I'm coming! Just let me finish this blog post.

    • dave272727 profile image


      9 years ago from Kentucky

      Yep Im guilty as well. Instead of writing I am spending my time reading fine works such as yours!

    • Jeffrey Neal profile image

      Jeffrey Neal 

      9 years ago from Tennessee

      This is good. I'm so bad about procrastinating. I have accumulated at least 50 topics for hubs laying around, some I have even started writing and allowed myself to get distracted, so they are sitting there unfinished. This hub is motivating, though. Thanks!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the comment Hello.

      Dohn, LOL, procrastinated procrastinating! Very good play of words! We're all at the mercy of procrastination. You're welcome and thanks for reading my hub.

      Shamel, aren't we all suffering laziness at one point or another? :) That's why I wrote this hub. If I feel a procrastination coming in, I'll just read this to get a kick in my @ss. :D

      You're welcome creativeone and Lady_E. Ey Lady_E, is that your real pic? Gorgeous!

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for the motivation. Now where's my "to-do" list? Must get a move on.....

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for such a valuable hub about procrastination, thank you for all your advice. creativeone59

    • shamelabboush profile image


      9 years ago

      I always have this writer's block due to all the above reasons specially the laziness syndrome... Thanks emievil.

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      The jig is up! Yes, I'm a procrastinator and I'm not proud of it. You're right, writers are lazy, stinkin', Pre-Madonnas! I'm procrastinating now as I'm writing this! Ahhhhh!!!

      I've procrastinated procrastinating and it didn't work...Does that even make sense? Read it again!

      Thanks, Emie :D

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, emeievil, for a well laid out and well written hub.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines

      LOL, that was fast. Thanks prettydarkhorse. Me too. Got so much to do tomorrow *sigh*.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      9 years ago from US

      hi emeievil, need to start writing now, and i am glad am first one to read this great hub!!


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