Off and on writing is very similar to procrastination, but different at the same time.
The definition of procrastination is “to put off intentionally and habitually; to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” But off and on writing tends to happen to people once inspiration strikes. This type of writing is both good and bad. Its good to get inspired, don’t get me wrong! You are listening to someone who writes this way all the time. But the problem is… if we only write when we get inspired, what happens if we don’t get inspired by anything for a while?
We stop writing.
Writing to me is like breathing. It’s a natural part of my life, and it’s as much a part of me as the blood flowing through my veins. I can’t NOT write. I’ve actually tried to see how long I could go without writing anything. I think I lasted… I think it was maybe a week? It became physically and mentally painful. I know it sounds stupid but its true!
When you keep that creativity pent up, it’s like building up a bomb. When it explodes… I couldn’t stop writing for over eight hours. I had so many different ideas and it all just poured out. Some were completely incoherent to even me (I still don’t know what some of that stuff meant) but some were great plots and story prompts that I still have and use on a daily basis.
Off and on writing is basically bursts of creative writing that can be spread out between days, weeks, or even months. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing, but if you wait for weeks to months before writing again, your story motivation can become weak or even die. And that’s the last thing I want to happen to anyone. There are so many stories that I haven’t finished because I lost my motivation due to just ceasing to write. I have more unfinished stories than friends. Not even kidding.
(I can share some of these ideas and story prompts with you, just email me! I’d love to talk to you!)
So seeing that the best things come in threes, we have three solutions to off and on writing!
The first is… set a goal. This is a lot like New Year’s resolutions, and sometimes it’s really hard to keep, but at least try! Write yourself a reminder on your phone or even a physical note to remind yourself to write a certain amount of words every day. And this should be a minimum of words to write. Try to exceed your own expectations, but be realistic. If you set a goal of five thousand words a day, you’ll burn yourself out really fast! I know because I tried it. It doesn’t work and it becomes a chore instead of enjoyable like it should be. It is much easier and more fun to set a goal of like, 750 to 1,000. That’s a realistic expectation that should be an easy goal to hit, as most people type more words in a single text conversation than 750. So… yeah.
The second is… write down your ideas. I have mentioned this so many times and I know you’re probably sick of hearing it but I cannot stress how important this is. I have two writing apps on my phone, two on my tablet/laptop, AND I carry around a notebook and sketchbook. Write. Down. Your. Ideas! Or if you are an artist, draw a scene! There are so many different ways to do this.
I love writing down different writing prompts, or dialogue prompts, which brings us to our third solution. Writing prompts. I know that some people don’t like this, they like doing everything 100% by themselves, and that’s okay! I just really like this option, because it can bring up some great topics and spark some ideas of our own. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, guys. It’s okay to need some advice or motivation to write, because sometimes that motivation can slow down. But writers help each other, and it’s our job as fellow writers and friends to motivate you! If you ever find yourself wanting to talk to another writer, or need a prompt to get you going again, please click on the “message me” button and send me an email! I will get back to you as fast as I possibly can.
I struggle with this sometimes myself, usually just writing whenever I get inspired, but this has helped me greatly and I hope it helps you guys too!
Stay creative, guys!
PS. 785 words. See? Told you it was easy 😉