You know, in life, I have found there is a big difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it. For instance, I really like flying (and have done a bit of flight simming) though having that passion to fly (for real) and actually going out and getting a pilots license are worlds apart. Though if I had the money I would do it in a heartbeat.
But with writing we writers have a similar problem. Our desire to write and the actual writing is separated by procrastination. We can have all the ideas running around in our head but until we actually sit down at the computer or typewriter we achieve nothing. We have to be doers of the words (to paraphrase a popular biblical phrase).
Of course, we have that same problem with God. It is not enough just to desire God, to have Him move in your life. There comes a time when we have to do something. We have to actively put the work in. We do this through prayer, through Bible study, through telling the gospel, and through being charitable. It’s not enough just to pray and ask God to move in power, to make you a great evangelist, theologian, servant or…writer, unless we do those things we are asking for.
In James 1:22-25 the writer tells us to ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.’ I know a lot of wanna be writers who have deceived themselves into believing they are writers and have not written a single word of worth. I know many of those of faith who hear God speak through His Word and largely ignore what they’ve heard. But we writers, we have to be doers. We have to sit and write. Its why we are here. To write or not to write? That is the question but the only answer has to be ‘yes’!
Here’s a few tips to get over procrastination, to turn you into a doer of words.
1. Write something. Anything. Even if its just a shopping list. Write a post in a Facebook group. Or even write free thought, let your mind just escape onto a page (it’s great therapy). The key is to write. Writing leads to more writing. We procrastinate when we stop that regular flow.
2. Be confident of your output. You might think it’s a load of mindless drivel but if its come from deep within it is of value. There’s a great scene in the original Karate Kid film where Miyagi is instructing Daniel on how to trim Bonsai trees (click the link to watch it). Daniel asks how he would know the idea of how the tree should look is the right one. Miyagi answers by saying ‘If come from inside of you, always right one.’ I think it’s the same with writing. If what you write comes from your heart, whatever you write will be right, for you. Writing is all about self expression and finding your voice. You do that by pouring it all out.
3. Look now at what you have written. Read it several times, edit, cut, mine those gems within. Somewhere within that text there lies something of worth.
4. Even at this stage you might think there’s nothing there. I suggest a quick tea or coffee and come back to it. Sometimes our brains need a rest.
5. And if nothing comes from it then repeat the steps again until there is something. The key thing is that while you’ve been going through these steps you have become a writer. Keep going mu friend, be a doer of words.