Ask the Coach: How Can Writers Deal with Procrastination? – On Script Mag

In this month’s “Ask the Coach” article, I’m responding to a comment on Twitter about handling procrastination. This is a topic I never tire of talking about with writers because it’s so relevant and important to understand and navigate. Plus, I’ve recently reviewed some newer (and empowering) research about procrastination, which I’ve shared in the article. 

In the article, I review five high-level reasons writers procrastinate to help us unpack this common struggle. I describe each reason more fully in the article, but here’s the core overview: 

  1. We procrastinate because we’re afraid.
  2. We procrastinate because writing matters to us.
  3. We procrastinate to manage challenging emotions. 👈 the newer part!
  4. We procrastinate to get dopamine hits.
  5. We procrastinate to process intuition and information.

With this understanding of why we procrastinate, I also offer ways we can manage procrastination, including rewriting negative thoughts, creating community and support around writing with other writers, using deadlines and other external motivations, and more. 


The bottom line is that we procrastinate for very real reasons.

Want the full scoop? There are more details in the full article on Script Mag: 
Ask the Coach: How Can Writers Deal with Procrastination?

If you’ve got writing questions, please send them my way!
I’d love to answer them for you in my column.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Two conversations about taking a day off from writing

Two inner conversations about taking the day off from writing, in which we explore the inner workings of the procrastinator and the recovered procrastinator. :)


Conversation 1. The Procrastinator


“Oh god. It’s too early. I don’t want to write. Besides, I need a day off. I mean, I’ve been pushing myself so hard and everything going on right now is just so stressful. Plus I couldn’t sleep well last night. I really just need some down time to regroup and get in the mood to write. There’s no point otherwise, right? I’ll just take the morning off and write in the afternoon.”

Later that morning.

“This is great! See, I really just needed some time to goof off. I can write later, it’ll be fine.”


“Okay, wow, that was great. Maybe I should start writing now. But I better check my email first. And I’ve got to call Kathy too. Plus my desk is disorganized, I’ll never be able to concentrate on my writing, I better clear it off. THEN I’ll really be able to focus.”


“Where did the day go? I’m exhausted. There’s no way I can write now. I better just start over tomorrow. I can write early, when I wake up. That’ll get me back on track.”

And, repeat.

Conversation 2. The Recovered Procrastinator


“I get to take today off! I hit that major milestone with my draft yesterday. I’m going to celebrate today by putting my feet up and savoring a full, glorious day of guilt-free indulgence and enjoyment. Then back to the writing tomorrow, until I hit the next milestone.”

And, repeat.

What a difference, right?

And the best part is how it FEELS inside. So. Much. Better.

Your turn

What do you think? How does procrastination FEEL to you? How does truly rewarding yourself feel when you’ve made a major accomplishment? What’s that worth to you?

Share your comments on the blog.



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