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Writing Obstacle No. 3 – Wendy Laura Belcher

This month of #AcWriMo we’re featuring heaps of advice from the book Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher. She’ll offer a wealth of information on carefully planning your writing and getting over obstacles – practical and emotional.

I will write just as soon as (fill in the blank).

Many students explain to me that they will get to writing just as soon as some more important task is completed. This list is varied and fascinating; that is, as soon as the apartment is clean, my lecture notes are organized, exams are over, the divorce is final, my advisor comes back from sabbatical, my medication kicks in, and so on. Only you can tell if these situations really do demand a break from writing. I suggest to you, however, that if you have not been writing regularly, none of these is an adequate excuse for not writing fifteen minutes a day.

Oddly enough, the most common “important task” of this sort is cleaning the house. Apparently, it is a common fact that many people simply cannot write if the house is dirty. My advice to you: Clean your house! In fact, if the way you get yourself in the writing mood is to spend fifteen minutes of cleaning before you spend fifteen minutes of writing, I’m all for it. Many of these same people feel that once they start cleaning they cannot stop, however. If so, I recommend that you reverse the order and do your fifteen minutes of writing first.

In other words, you don’t have to “clear the decks” before you can get started on a writing project. Writing seems to thrive on messy decks.

But you sometimes be stuck at your writing.

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