How to Overcome Procrastination When Writing a Novel by John DeKakis

How to Overcome Procrastination When Writing a Novel

I know the feeling: for literally years you’ve had this great idea for a novel banging around in your head. You dream about it; you think about it in the shower, or on your daily walk.

It won’t let you go.

And yet it remains locked in your mind, unformed—unwritten.

What’s a person to do?

For the past twenty years, I’ve been a traditionally published author, and I’ve helped probably hundreds of people get off dead center and write their first novel (which often leads to a second and third novel).

What’s my secret?


Right. What?

No. Really, procrastination.


I know. That’s what you’ve already been doing. For years. But I’m here to tell you that procrastination is okay. It’s actually a critical part of the novel-writing process, an important first step toward getting your novel written and into the hands of readers.

That sounds counterintuitive, but procrastination is real, so we might as well acknowledge reality—and embrace it.

I have.

I’ve got procrastination nailed.

And yet I’ve also written six mystery-suspense-thriller novels.

The key to overcoming procrastination is to incorporate it into your writing process. You’ve probably heard that a “serious” writer writes a thousand words every day.

That’s great if you’re a machine.

But what if you’re a mere mortal?

Perhaps you’ve even tried to write a thousand words a day. But, be honest, how did you feel about yourself on the days you only wrote 800 words, or 250, or zero over and over again?

Exactly. You probably felt like a failure who has no business believing you’re capable of penning an 80-thousand-word manuscript, so you’ve abandoned your dream of writing a novel in discouragement and disgust.

And yet, that great idea won’t let you alone.

Here’s my suggestion: incorporate procrastination into your writing process in a more mindful way. Being a writer doesn’t only mean sitting at a keyboard and moving your fingers.

This is because when you’re ruminating about your story, you’re also writing it.

There is a lot of psychology involved in being a writer. Once you accept that tapping into your subconscious is part of the creative process, you’ll stop feeling so bad about being a world-class procrastinator.

The next step toward writing a novel is to join a writing community like Prolific Writers Life. There, you’ll be surrounded by fellow writers who understand your journey and can offer support and encouragement.

I can’t stop you from procrastinating, but I can teach you how to harness it and turn it into a tangible story that others will read and enjoy.

Click here to discover the benefits of joining Prolific Writers Life, where our community offers support, encouragement, and guidance for your writing journey.

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