I’ve been avoiding the blank page for about a week and a half now, using one excuse after another. All my usual tips for getting started are proving useless. The concept of putting words to paper seems as impossible and preposterous as jumping out of the window and expecting to float.
It makes me feel quite sick, if I’m honest. Self-loathing builds up dramatically, and every day that starts with “Today I’ll get so much done” and ends with “I can’t believe I got nothing done” makes it even worse. What’s amplifying the problem is the fact that I’m at a point in my latest book that I’m kinda stuck with, and having to overcome a difficult obstacle to even start is not good.
So I’ve decided, simply, to skip it and come back to that part later once my mind is in more of a flow state as opposed to a concrete state. And I’m taking my own advice and writing this blog entry as a way of at least warming up the typing brain cells. I also wanted to let people know – the people that have such a chronic procrastination problem that they often feel utterly helpless, the ones who try all the techniques and still feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel – that it’s not just them. 
Some people think that getting stuck like this means lazing around relaxing; it’s the opposite. It’d being unable to relax in any way, tormented by the knowledge that there’s STUFF TO BE DONE, and yet you almost seem to be deliberately sabotaging yourself by not just getting up and getting on with it. You feel constantly wired yet utterly brain dead at the same time. Sometimes I find myself literally rubbing my face and tugging at my hair in frustration.
 At lunchtimes, the folders would gang up and intimidate Lewis.
One thing that I find does help (if it doesn’t solve the main problem at all) is to get at least ONE tiny, tiny job done so the time isn’t a total loss; the smallest, most doable job you can find. That means the next day, maybe you can get two things done, and so on. If you’re anything like me, you’re a machine once you start; the hours drop off, and it’s only until your hands start to shake from hunger or your face gets hot from a lack of fluids that you stop. Then of course, once those problems are dealt with, you have the whole issue of stalled momentum all over again…but at least you had those hours, right?
It’s a dark, dark business, and it IS beatable…but some days are harder than others, and some days you’re just going to fuckin’ well fail. The key to it (and one I haven’t mastered) is to be able to accept those days for what they are and prepare to do better on the next one. Let me know how that works out for you.
To learn more about MY books (Woo!) visit where you can buy them for Kindle.


Anyone who has a MAJOR problem with procrastination, such as myself, knows how tough it is when it comes to just sitting down and contiuing to write your book, or to start that day’s chunk of writing; you feel like you’re not aware enough of the rest of the story (if it’s a project that’s already in progress) it feels cold and alien, and the zone you were happily beavering away in the last time you were adding to your novel seems a million miles away. The main problem, of course, is that you’re not only trying to start writing out of nowhere (the literary equivalent of going 0-60) but you’re trying to do that whilst adding to a huge chunk of text that already exists. And if you’re starting your book or essay full stop, trying to find a way to begin, you can feel like your opening words won’t be good enough because you’re coming to it cold. It’s not always like this, of course, but there’s a lot of days where it is. On days like that, the way to solve the problem is to have a quick warm-up; it won’t solve the adding-onto-existing-text problem, but it certainly makes it feel a damn sight easier when your writing brain is prepped an ready. 
So how do you do it? For me, one of the bonuses I’ve found about writing this blog is that it works as an excellent warm up on days when I’m sat in front of the laptop and pissing around on Facebook instead of getting down to the job in hand. It gets the juices flowing before diving back into my latest undertaking, helping me get it nice and ready to sit unnoticed at the bottom of the Kindle store listings…(feeling rather bitter about failed free listings today.) So getting a blog going is one idea, even if it’s just a blog for random thoughts. Blogging is fun, and you never know who might be reading (the police, for one, so keep those thoughts clean.)
But here’s an excellent, excellent writing warm up for you; the wonderful , a small and simple website with a built in tool that works on a simple concept. To use their words:

“One Two Fiver is a series of stretches for warming up your writing muscles.
Start with a single word.
Type it like you mean it.
Now write two words.
Move on to five…
Keep typing until you are writing.”
It’s like’s an extended version of that old game where you take it in turns to say the next word in a sentence…except each time you keep saying more words. It sounds daft, but it is indescribably useful on those days where you just can’t seem to get started (on anything, not just writing fiction; it works equally well for bringing yourself to getting round to sending a lengthy complaint email to WWE for giving you horrendous seats for Wrestlemania without telling you that the view would be highly restricted….for example.) I highly recommend giving onetwofiver a go anytime you just can’t seem to get your A into G.
Whilst I’m here, I thought you might find it fun to see a sample of what I produced one of the times that I used it; admittedly I started with ‘Once’ because I knew I was going with ‘Once upon a time’, but once I got to ‘…there was a’ I added ‘Pig’ and away I went. Not really the way it’s supposed to be used, I know, and normally I start with just a random word and go from there, but this is the only one that I still have a copy of. I remembered that I’d copied all of the text and kept it for some reason (I liked it as a beginning and thought I might go somewhere with it eventually, just as a short story.) And if you’re REALLY bored, why not try and finish off the story and post your results below? I’d love to see them.
Your messages are always so kind.

Here’s what I came up with as a writing warm-up:

Once upon a time there was a pig called Steve, unremarkable in appearance and manner, but reknowned amongst the other animals on the farm for being an all round likeable chap. Whenever, say, one of the lambs were worried about their first shearing, or one of the horses were concerned about the appearance of their coat, or the cockerel was feeling inadequate in his role as leader of poultry, all would come to Steve for a kind word, sage advice, or just to have a friendly pig’s ear to talk into.

And so it was in this manner that the farmhouse cat came to Steve one day, leaping up onto the wall of the pigsty and nervously clearing his throat. Unfortunately, this also caused the start of a hairball retch, but once he’d cleared it he regained his composure. The cat rarely deigned to put in an appearance with the farmyard animals; they thought him aloof, he secretly thought them uncultured, but there was no genuine malice between them. Even so, his appearance at the pigsty was a mild surprise, and all the pigs-including Steve-turned to look at him. Trying to look and sound casual, the cat spoke.

“Yes,” said the cat, feigning a casual air, “I…I’d like to talk to Steve please, if he has a minute?” The pigs all turned to look at Steve, who blushed slightly. It looked unusual on a pig.
“Um…of course,” replied Steve, finding himself feeling strangely nervous, “What’s the matter?” The cat didn’t respond at first, and instead just looked around, scratching at his neck in a manner that was supposed to look relaxed but actually just made him look even more furtive.
“Any chance,” said the cat finally, inspecting some unseen object in the middle distance and still not addressing Steve directly, “We could talk a little more privately, Steven?” Steve bristled slightly at this (easy for a pig) as he didn’t like being called Steven. It reminded him of his mother, long since taken away to what the animals called ‘The Happy Pasture.’
“Nope,” replied Steve, bolder now, “I think we’ll talk right here, actually.”

That’s where I stopped. See what you can do, if you can be arsed.

To learn more about MY books (Woo!) visit where you can buy them for Kindle.