• Tayari Jones
  • Writers Block or Procrastination Remedy: Start The Night Before
Writers Block or Procrastination Remedy: Start The Night Before
Written by
Tayari Jones
April 2012
Written by
Tayari Jones
April 2012

Like many people, the biggest impediment to my writing is a failure to sit myself in the chair and try.  I recently whined to someone that my writing hasn't been "going well" for the last week or so.  I know the person thought that I have been sitting at my typewriter, staring sadly at the glass keys, waiting for the words to come.  But no.  My writing didn't go well last week precisely because I hadn't been staring at those keys.

The remedy is obbvious-- I need to sit myself in that chair and have at it.

And as all of you know, whether we are talking about writing or exercising, or cleaning house, or whatever.  Starting is the hard part.  (Sidebar: Have you ever watched this awesome video? It's the mother of all peptalks.)

But on a less touchy feely plane, here is a simple tangible suggestion:  Prepare your writing area the night before.  Clean off the desk.  I don't mean just organize the clutter. I mean CLEAN IT. Wipe it down.  Then arrange all your tools just so.  Sharpen those pencils.  Do you drink coffee when you write?  Load the pot, so you only have to press "ON" when you get up.  If you have a special writing outfit, set it out, too.  (For me, that would be my fluffy robe.)  Then go to bed.

I find that is I get the process going at night, I wake up already in the mode to write.  And with everything set out before hand, I won't get distracted and start cleaning up or something and them lose the mood to write.  And besides, a clean and lovely writing space is so inviting.  You will entice yourself as you entice your mood.

The picture you see here is my writing space in my place in New Jersey.  Looking at the photo makes me realise how much I miss it.  My lucky lamp! And the envelope you see is a letter from a reader, encouraging me to finish up Silver Sparrow.  The desk is has a glass top and I windex it down at night so it gleams in the morning.  Just seeing this picture makes me want to write.  Seriously.

What I am suggesting is a simple fix.  Try it.  And while you're at it, buy yourself a couple of flowers.  Set them on your desk.  You deserve it.  And then, go write that book.


xo, t

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  • Lisa D Sampson

    thanks! Great stuff

  • NF Cussins

    I really enjoyed your blog post gave me great inspiration that video was a really needed pep talk.