5 Lies Writers Tell Themselves

Let’s be honest – writing is hard. Sometimes just summoning the energy to sit down and write even a few hundred words feels like the hardest thing in the world – half the battle is fought between the fridge and the desk (but seriously, chocolate is definitely what I needed to conquer this blog post).

Procrastination is the bane of the writer, the terror we all fight – and here are my Top Five White Lies that Writers tell themselves (and how you can combat them!)
Writing Humor - The Creative Process Pie Chart

5. I’ll Remember That in the Morning

You know when you wake up in the middle of the night, or right before you fall asleep, and your brain suddenly gives you an amazing plot twist or character betrayal? And you always tell yourself, “That’s such a great idea, I’ll definitely remember it tomorrow?”

I Don't Want to Forget

No. You won’t remember. Write it down. Keep a notepad by your bed, and jot down those midnight brainwaves so you’ll be able to use them in your next writing session!

4. Just One More Episode/Chapter/Scroll

Ahhhh the internet. The writer’s best friend and worst enemy – a land of infinite creative inspiration, and time-sucking entertainment. Countless hours can be lost watching videos or scrolling through Twitter; or if you’re halfway through that latest book on your TBR pile, it’s just as easy to read another chapter and postpone your writing.

Watch One More Episode

Set yourself a limit. Watch an episode, write 500 words – if you need to watch shows or read books to feel creatively inspired, go ahead; but don’t lose track of your precious writing time!

3. One More Piece of Cake Will Do the Trick…

Writing is hungry work. Snacks and drinks are most definitely in order when it comes to settling down from a writing session, but the distraction of getting up and down for more food will break your concentration.

Second Breakfast

Get yourself prepared before you sit down to write – food and drink included. Once you’re in the writing zone, it’s important that you do as little as possible to disturb your creative rhythm. And besides – less snacks might put an end to those cake crumbs in the keyboard!

2. I’ll Write Twice as Much Tomorrow

Sometimes it’s easy to slack off when you’re writing. Maybe you had a long day, maybe this chapter isn’t working out; maybe you just have a blog post that’s overdue, or a work meeting that’s on your mind. No matter what’s interrupting your thought process, it’s easy to strike a deal with yourself – I’ll make up for it tomorrow.

Unfortunately, tomorrow doesn’t work out how you’d hoped, and it starts a downward spiral – do everything you can to stick to a daily word count and sacrifice a half-hour of your night’s plans to get those words down.

1. The Lighting/Music/Chair Isn’t Quite Right

Some of us have writing spots we absolutely love, our little corner of the world where we setup shop and start producing words. For some people, that’s a favorite coffee shop, or a window seat at home, or perhaps a tucked away place in a park. But sometimes it just doesn’t feel right – the lighting is too bright, the music isn’t the right mood, or the seat cushion is newly upholstered.

Sheldon New Seat Cushion

If you can, find a spot you like and keep it. But don’t make the mistake of trying to find the perfect creative space – write wherever you can, whenever you can; if the words come to you, let them out!

So these are the five lies that writers tell themselves. What about you? Is there something you always tell yourself to procrastinate? Share this post on Twitter or Facebook, and drop a comment below to discuss!

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Rachana says:

    The fifth lie is the one I tell myself the most often. I always think about my WIPs before I fall asleep but I hate getting up to write down all my ideas. Sometimes, if I know I’ve just thought of something that will really save me time the next day, I’ll get up and jot it down. The only “white lie” I can’t relate to is the first one. I never really blame the setting as a reason for me not feeling inspired. I think I’m so accustomed to the idea of writers being versatile creatures who can write any place/any time that I’m always trying to conform to it (ie. writing in airports when I’m feeling extra-tired).

    โ€“ Rachana @ Addicted to YA

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    1. Yes! So often I think of something right before bed and completely forget it come morning. I’m mostly like you I think, in that I know I need to be versatile and write whenever and wherever I can, but sometimes for me, the environment just isn’t conducive to writing – I should be more like you!!

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing this on Twitter, your support is always appreciated!

      Like

  2. Heather says:

    *sigh* I am bad at these. Especially letting other things cut into my writing time. I need to find a way to start balancing everything with writing. ๐Ÿ˜› And, also, yeah, you won’t remember it in the morning. That is why I keep notebooks next to my bed at all times so no matter what time of night I can start to write things down! And even if I get more tired in the morning, I never feel the regret of having lost a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Definitely keep those notebooks handy, it’s a great way to remember your ideas – a lot of writers I know prefer to keep a physical notebook on them anyway, to store their writing ideas on the go. I know real life cuts into your writing time, so that’s always tough to balance – just remember to set yourself a reasonable goal that you can consistently achieve!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Haha, that’s hilarious how I did bookworm lies and you did writer lies on the same day. xD I have a follow-up writers lies post too, but I was randomly tweeting lies at the beginning of the week so I blame that for what started me on this. ๐Ÿ˜› GREAT MINDS.

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    1. GREAT MINDS INDEED!! I didn’t see those twitter lies – ooops! I’ll have to go read your writer’s lies post when it’s done! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  4. Tarquin Carlin says:

    It’s funny how they are so universal too

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    1. Writers themselves are pretty universal! Thanks for commenting on this post!

      Like

  5. Maddie says:

    Loved this post! All of these lies are so true! It’s so hard to break out of them , they’ve become a disease almost that has attached themselves to us and aren’t willing to let go easily.

    Great post!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

    1. Gah! How did I miss this comment?! These lies are so hard to break, and they spread easily between writers – it’s a very apt metaphor. Thanks so much for the comment!

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  6. Ah, I love this post! Especially since it is so relatable. I ALWAYS say/think: I’ll remember that when I open the MS again. And I don’t. I NEVER do. So I have a notebook next to my laptop now, and I write all these little ideas down, and now I don’t have to pretend to myself that my memory is better than it is.

    Also: I’ll make up for it. I haven’t written anything in my current WIP – the one actually being written, and not edited – in months. And I’m always all: oh, I’ll just write heaps later on. I’ll go on a huge writing binge.
    Yeah, no. That’s not going to happen. EVER. I just need to bite the bullet and WRITE.

    Like

    1. Everyone suffers from these in some way! It’s crazy how easy it is to lose concentration and drift onto something more distracting. You’re absolutely right about WRITING – that’s it, just sit down and WRITE. I’ve never, ever, managed to ‘catch up’ or ‘make it up’ later, it just doesn’t happen. Write when you can, as much as you can.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Chiara!

      Like

  7. Meowmocha says:

    Yeah. Sometimes you remember that brilliant idea, other times… you don’t.
    And the ‘just one more episode, this is an interesting chapter in the novel, I’ll just goof off online a bit longer’ procrastination.
    And for some reason, getting up for snacks or drinks is a common occurrence. For me, I think part of it is the restless energy that urges me to get up and walk around. Maybe writers should work on their novels while on a treadmill.

    Or the days when you’re paying more attention to the pretty song than the pretty chapter. Other times, you can hear the same song twenty times in a row and not care.

    Note that while I’m typing this comment, a manuscript is open, a manuscript I should be working on because I need to complete the scene.

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  8. Haha! I’m guilty of numbers 4 and 5! Love all the GIFs too (especially the LoTR one)

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