There is worldbuilding and/or writing that I know I need to do, and even want to do on some level, but I keep not doing it. I don't have what I think of as traditional writers block, because I'm not even getting as far as looking at a page that I'm not writing on. I'm not even putting off what I need to do by doing other things (until I started typing this question), I'm sitting doing nothing when I know I need to reread some notes and then do something; either writing more of an existing narrative or do some ancillary worldbuilding work if I don't think things are quite ready yet.

My question is how do people get themselves moving when they know they have work to do and time to do it?

Any suggests for techniques or tools that make staying on track with writing projects easier much appreciated.

2 Answers 2


Procrastination is as much as part of this job as creativity. We all do it. Writing isn't easy most of the time, and most of the time, I'd rather be washing my husband's underpants than writing a difficult scene.

But, when I don't write, I feel awful. It's a double-edged sword!


I use two tools to keep myself on track:


Not only is Scrivener a much more efficient program to plan and write a novel than Word, it has a fabulous Project Target tool. In here, you set a deadline for your book, enter the days on which you are free to write, and the estimated word count for your novel.

Scrivener then calculates exactly how many words you need to write that day to meet your deadline. It has a daily progress bar, and an overall progress bar, both of which change from red, to orange to green as you progress.

I've just started a novella, which I want to finish by the end of the month, and it looks like this:

enter image description here

What is so effective about this is, if you don't finish your word count for the day, it gets added onto the next. And the pressure to complete your word count compounds every day you don't write.


I have a Pomodoro app on my phone and work in 50 minute blasts with 10 minute breaks. The app I have plays forest sounds and tweeting birds during the 50 minute cycle and crashing waves during the break, when I shut my eyes for a bit or make a coffee.

My brain is now trained to write when it hears birds tweeting!



Sometimes I promise myself a reward. "I can (indulge in XX) when I have written 300/500/1000 words."

Sometimes I make a to-do list first. Making a list is easy enough. 1. write 1000 words. 2. mundane other task. 3. mundane other task. 4. Plot out next chapter. 5. etc. (cross out items as they are done.)

Sometimes I do something writing-adjacent. Critique someone else's work. Come onto the internet (hello!) and interact with other writers or ponder questions. READ NOVELS and TAKE NOTES. Research literary agents. etc.

Sometimes I force myself to write just one sentence, and that is enough to get a second sentence.

Sometimes I pull out a notebook and doodle the story instead of writing it, or make another list of world-building areas that are not figured out yet.

--Maybe something up there will help.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.