How to Avoid Writing (+ Then Get Yourself to Do It or ANYTHING)

Improvised Life part-time assistant editor Mira Keras wrote this spot-on description of a writer procrastinating…as a way of procrastinating herself. But she discovered something essential in the process.

Mira Keras

Mira Keras

How to avoid writing:

make yourself tea
say the tea is steeping and stand around while it steeps
notice the floor needs vacuuming
vacuum the floor
pick up books and magazines left out by spouse
flip through books and magazines
remember you made tea!
drink the tea
sit down to write
just to be safe, check email and all social media
read online version of the magazine you just flipped through
message a friend, say you are too busy to meet up, you are writing
go on pinterest and look at hairstyles
realize you’re entire house needs remodeling
go on home remodeling sites
open word, you’re supposed to be writing!
write the opening sentences
realize you are hungry, you can’t write on an empty stomach!
make a small snack
while you are eating, think deeply about going on a diet
diets are not for writers! I’m a writer! no diet for me!
sits back down at computer
stare at blank document for 30 minutes
make a procrastinating list of procrastinations

something happens to me after 10pm, and I don’t care if the house is messy, or if my inbox is full, the word document wins, and I get going

The deal about making ANYTHING is to find your unique way of getting it done. YOUR way, not anyone else’s. If you work better on the fly, or using a typewriter, or only late at night, or dressed in a business suit, or talking into a tape recorder, or with a deadline, or having a friend charge you for every day you don’t work, or listening to music…whatever works!

To find what works, try different systems and notice what it takes to get you going…

Sally Schneider

…Witness the gold high heels Mira arrived in after a couple of hours of walking around town. They’d be impossible for us. “How/why can you wear those shoes?” we asked, amazed.

They focus me“, she said with a smile. “I have to focus on walking in them, and that focuses my mind on the things I need to get done.”

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