October 1, 2015

Writing, Procrastination and Agatha Christie

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

“Write even if you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” -Agatha Christie 

Dame Agatha said a mouthful in that statement. My issue is never that I can't write. I'm mentally knocking on my head because thankful I've never had writer's block. My issue is procrastination.

How about you, can you identify?

I write better under a deadline. A good thing since I'm always on a deadline with my job at Southern Writers Magazine but throw in a couple of independent writing projects and life, well my procrastination seems to kick into overdrive. For me it works as a huge motivation to get super focused. 

First, I block out time to accomplish the writing goal. That means no chores or distractions. If you write to music by all means put it on. For this project, I popped in a familiar Miss Marple movie for inspiration.

Second, fight the edit gnome in you on the first draft. Get the words on paper then and only then edit. 

Third, block enough time to edit on a different day that you write your first draft. Fresh eyes find all the edits needed. 

Fourth, once edited have courage and hit the send button. 

In words borrowed from J. K. Rowling, "Mischief Managed."

You may be curious my project was a short story of 1800 words for an anthology book. The working title "Dinner With..." I blocked out this past Sunday afternoon and wrote my story, 3500 words. I purposely overwrote the story so the 2nd draft had plenty of room for reduction of words that come with most edits. 

My fictitious dinner subject is with Agatha Christie. She wrote over 88 mystery novels. She remains the most successful mystery writer of all time. 

Who wouldn't want to have dinner with the Dame of best selling Mysteries?  

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