Greetings, writers! As of last night at midnight PST, the time to submit your story for contest workshopping ended. Now it’s time to critique! Make sure you head into the Spring Contest workshop and look for stories that haven’t yet gotten a response.
(P. S. Don’t post your contest submission in the regular Writing workshop. I’m afraid if you do, we’ll have to delete it!)

7 Tricks to Write More with Less Willpower

You want to write more. Of course you do. It’s only natural. You’d like to finish that novel (or those three novels!). You’d like to write on your blog more than once a week. As you get deeper into writing, it seems like there’s always more to write.

Discipline Writing

Photo by Grotuk

The problem is after you’re done with work and the kids finally go to bed, writing is the last thing you want to do. You can’t even muster the willpower to read a book, let alone write one. So you turn on the TV, put your feet up, and promise yourself you’ll write tomorrow.

Do that enough times and you start to wonder, “Maybe this writing thing just isn’t for me. Maybe I’m not a writer after all.”

The Secret About Willpower

Wrong. You are a writer.

The problem isn’t that you’re not a writer. The problem is that you’re trying to argue yourself into writing.

Willpower is a powerful resource. You can do anything you decide to do. Our wills are amazing tools. The problem is, we often want conflicting things.

We want to relax. We want to be great writers.

We want to watch TV. We want to be well read.

We want to finish our novel. We want to start a new one.

How do you break through and decide to do what you actually want to do, which is to write?

Seven Secret Writer Tricks to Getting More Writing Done

Here are five ninja-like tricks to write more with less willpower.

1. Turn It Into a Habit

A few months ago I started a new blog. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is right now. I’m not going to tell you because I’m embarrassed about it. I’m embarrassed about it because I’ve posted on it three times. I aspired to write three times a week, but I didn’t have the willpower to follow through.

This blog, on the other hand, doesn’t require willpower. It’s a habit.

Strange truth: it’s easier to write on a blog everyday than three times a week.

When you write three times a week, you need willpower. When you write everyday, soon, it just becomes what you do.

At The Write Practice, we’re trying to help you turn writing into a habit. That’s why we encourage you to practice six days a week, right here on the blog. If you’re not working on a larger project right now, join us at the end of every post for a fun writing prompt to kickstart your habit.

2. Get a Writing Job

Writing is how I make money. If I don’t write, my wife will start getting really nervous that we’re going to live in poverty forever. I have to write. I don’t have time to debate my will.

If you don’t want to make writing your full time job, you can do this on a smaller scale. Meet the editor of a local newspaper or magazine for coffee. See if they have any jobs for a cheap freelancer. Or get a copy of Writer’s Market and get freelancing jobs from small magazines to national publications. On my first paid writing job, I reviewed CDs for a local weekly. If you have a boss telling you to write, you’ll do it.

3. Trick Your Subconscious Into Helping

Peter Shallard, a therapist for entrepreneurs, says you can force your subconscious into helping you with your work with a sneaky little technique.

He says, “We answer any question we ask ourselves.”

So if you want to work on your novel today, ask yourself, “How much fun can I have writing my novel?” 

Or, “How quickly can I finish this blog post?” 

Or, “How amazing will it feel immediately after writing this chapter?”

Your subconscious will start to solve the problem for you, allowing you to get more work done and have more fun doing it. Try it. It actually works.

4. Use a Timer

Many writers, like Donald Miller and Chuck Palahniuk, use egg timers to keep them focused while they write. It’s something of a judo mind-trick. If you’re tired after a long day, the prospect of writing for an unspecified period of time can be overwhelming. Instead, you can trick your willpower by telling it you’re only going to go write for fifteen short minutes.

After fifteen minutes, if you feel like stopping, then by all means do so. But you may be so into it, you want to keep writing.

At the Write Practice, we use E.ggtimer, a simple timer you can find online. Very helpful.

5. Make a Plan

Another judo mind-trick you can use is to make a plan. The will hates the unknown. So the prospect of writing about whatever you feel like can be intimidating.

Instead, get specific. You are not going to write about whatever you feel like. You are going to outline chapter three. Then, you are going to write a character sketch of a background character. Finally, you’re going to write 500 words of chapter two.

6. Make it Your Passion

This is actually the least helpful tip, and yet it’s the one most touted on writing blogs. The problem with passion is that it relies on your feelings. Feelings won’t write your book. In fact, they’ll often lead you astray, to television and “relaxation.”

A better way to think about passion, I think, is to think of it as your focus. If you are completely focused on your novel, if your novel is what you do and who you are, if your novel is your single-minded pursuit (to the detriment of all others), a little procrastination won’t hurt you. You’ll always be thinking about your novel, whether you are watching TV or playing tennis or reading a book.

I think about my novel all the time. I think about it even when I’m not working on it. My subconscious is churning out ideas all the time. It’s my focus. I don’t have to worry about procrastinating because even when I procrastinate, my subconscious is still working, collecting and creating ideas.

7. Say No!

You can’t do everything.

Maybe writing three blogs is too much. Maybe you should say no to that new idea for a novel. Maybe it’s time to take an email sabbatical.

What is the most important writing project you’re working on?

Focus on that and say no to everything else. Then, when it’s finished, you can pick up those other projects again.

Because how good will it feel immediately after you finish it?

How do you stay disciplined when you write? Any judo mind-tricks you’d like to add?

PRACTICE

A man or woman has just quit a bad habit. Write about their experience wrestling with their willpower.

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section below. And if you post, please give some feedback to a few other writers.

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

  • LarryBlumen

    My discipline is this: when something comes, I write it down. My muse is talky, so I write a lot. Fortunately, I am unemployed and have lots of free time.

  • As of late, I’ve lost the will to write. I don’t know why, but I cannot even muster up enough strength to compose a simple article. I’m but a Sophomore in highschool, so I pray that my ‘hiatus’ will be short-term.
    In all honesty, I feel like writing has become a chore. Does anyone else feel the same?

    • Of course. All the time, Cierra. Maybe it’s time for #3. Ask, “How can I have the most fun doing this?” I do this for projects I have to do but don’t want to do. It makes them MUCH more fun.

    • Marianne Vest

      Maybe it’s because you’re still in school and you have to write for school also. I’ve been using fountain pens (a recommendation from the Write Practice) and colored ink and do a lot of doodling. It’s very relaxing, like playing. When I can’t write I doodle and after awhile something will come to me. Try to make your brain not think of any words and you will think of a million. I wish I had kept up writing when I was young. Don’t give up just make a game of it and let yourself write stupid junk.

      • I agree, Marianne.

        I have a journal that I sometimes paint in. It’s so much more fun to write next to or on top of a painting or drawing.

        • Marianne Vest

          Yes remember our practice when we drew characters and wrote on them. Casey’s had no hand. That was fun.

  • Oh man, using a timer helps me a bunch. Saying no … that’s definitely my next frontier.

    • I like the timer too, especially when I’m in a really undisciplined phase.

  • I’m feeling pretty good that I read this after cranking out 1300 words on my almost finished novel. Great advice and tips. I think making it a habit is the number one most challenging thing to do, but the most effective by far! Thanks for the post- I’ll be sharing it!

    • Thanks Chelsea. I agree. Like most people, I’m pretty good at habits and pretty terrible at willpower. It takes willpower to create a habit, but once you have one, you’re unstoppable.

  • The title was absolutely alluring and I bet the first two tricks are the most useful.

    http://www.thecolorsofmysoul.com/

  • Lara Schiffbauer

    I adore this post! I especially like number three. Just reading the questions you had written made my heart lift, and I wanted to run home (I’m at work) and get started.

    • I know. Those questions were one of the main reasons I wanted to write this post. So good!

  • LarryBlumen

    After thinking about my novel for ten years, I wrote it in 21 days. When it comes, it comes.

  • H S Contino

    Great post! It was so goof that I decided to share it with my friends. 🙂

    • H S Contino

      Oops! I meant to type “it was so good” not goof. Aren’t typos fun? 😉

      • Marianne Vest

        I thought goof was some new teenager word meaning cool. I wonder if any words get started by typos?

        • Shakespeare must’ve created a few with typos and misspellings.

        • Yvette Carol

          Snap! I was going to say the same thing. In fact HS, if you hadn’t corrected your mistake, who knows? You could have spawned a whole new generation of people calling cool things ‘goof’ without even knowing it!! 🙂

      • You really goofed up on that one.

        Sorry, I had to.

  • Joe, this is one of your longer posts, and very informative.

    Being retired, I have a lot of time to write. (When I not remodeling the kitchen). But my problem is staying focused. I am putting together research for the novel I will begin this summer about my grandparents. I am taking a couple of on-line classes and I attend meetings for a writer’s group.

    I know, lots of writers wish they had my problem, and I certainly not complaining. But even though I have lots of time to write, I have begun to set specific times. I try to write betweeen 10 am and noon. Then again between 3 and 5. And finally, at night from about 7 pm till 10 pm. I find that I get more done, and I’m more focused, when I’ve put a time limit on how long I will write. But I do it for the opposite reason most writers have. With too much time available to write I find myself becoming less focused because, “I can get to that later, I have all day.” Trouble is, I usually don’t get to it.

    I suppose today’s post was written for writers who have restrictions on their writing time. But I think it will help even me, someone with lots of time to write, but also someone who has a problem focusing on the actual writing project.

    Thanks for a great post, Joe.

    • Thanks Angelo. You’re right, it’s probably the longest non-interview I’ve posted.

      Good insight about time limits. If we have unlimited time, we squander it. By setting limits (again, the timer), we are actually more productive.

  • Gabbygee1976

    I really liked this post. I made a plan to start writing over a year ago, and have yet to stick to it. Before that, it had probably been several years since I had written anything other than what was required for school and at work. Now, I’m trying to get back to it, and I am finding it so difficult to just start. I have the best of intentions, but then, as you mentioned, I talk myself out of it.

    I created a plan just yesterday about how I was going to get at least 6 days of writing for at least a half hour per day. This post was very timely, as I now have some helpful guidelines to help me stay on track. Thank you!

  • Yvette Carol

    Those tips kick some ninja butt Joe! I often read ‘lists of tips’ stifling a yawn because half of them are so lame. But I felt your tips would actually work…so good job.

    When Iwas writing the rough draft for my WIP I found days drifting by cloaked in excuses (the kids kept me busy, Nat was sick, etc). So I did the same as Angelo, I set a time to write and I stuck to it. I sat at my desk each night long after the kids were settled, and from 9 p.m. I’d write. The way I made myself do it even when I was shattered was to say ‘It’s only for ten minutes’.

    Sometimes I woke up on my hand half an hour later. But usually ten minutes writing turned into an hour or more.

    Of course it fluctuated. Some days I”d write half a page. Other days, four pages. But even half a page is progress. I liken it to a giant machine that once the cogs are oiled (by writing) and turning, then they will more easily keep on turning. If you take breaks that are too long between writing then the cogs start to seize up, and it takes a darned sight more effort to get it moving again.

    • Marianne Vest

      I definitely agree with your analogy about keeping the cogs oiled and running. It’s like exercise or church if you stop it’s hard to get back to it no matter how beneficial you know it is.

      • Yvette Carol

        I can be a visual type of person and I see the cogs too in my mind! When I take a break from actual writing (when I’m editing or that dusty, non-creative type of writer’s work), and then go back to trying to write new copy, I see the cogs as being rusty and stuck. But one good thing about getting older is you get to live through a few cycles. You know, that hey, I’ve managed to oil them up in the past and get them moving before, just by sticking at it, so I can start this engine running again! 🙂

  • Thanks for this post Joe. Write everyday for 15 minutes. I can do that. 🙂

    Below’s my practice for today. 🙂

    ***

    It’s been a week now. One week of being clean. Seven days. A hundred and sixty eight hours. Ten thousand eighty minutes of being clean and I don’t know if I can be clean for a minute more. I need it. My head’s throbbing and my body’s shaking. I need it so bad.

    I roll out of bed and it takes me a couple of minutes before I get off the floor. It’s calling me. I can hear it, feel it clawing at me. No! Mind over matter. It’s worked for a week and it’ll work now. Mind over matter. But I need it. I need to feel them in my hands, between my fingers, hear their voices.

    I look myself in the mirror and I don’t know who’s the man staring back. He’s definitely not me. He’s got sunken eyes with black rims around them, gaunt cheeks, and a skinny body frame. No, he’s not me. I need it. Why can’t I have it? ‘Cos it’s bad for me, that’s what they said. That’s what my doctor said. They don’t understand though. No. Mind over matter. I can do this. I open the medicine cabinet and I take my medication.

    The pills no longer work. They’re getting weaker and weaker and the addiction’s voice is getting stronger. I pop one pill then two then three and they get weaker everytime. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I’m now standing before the door. Behind the door lies it. I place a hand on the knob. No! Stop! What’re you doing? Clean for a week now. I open this door and I’ll spiral down to ruin once again.

    Take your hand off the doorknob.

    I twist the doorknob. Slowly.

    Hand. Off. Now!

    Their voices are getting stronger. Sweet, sweet voices.

    Pop one more pill and go read a book. Go now! Close the door. Go!

    I hear someone crying. The pills are crying. I pull open the door. They’re singing now. Oh can’t you hear them?

    Stop. Stop. Stop. Mind over matter. One week of being clean. Don’t ruin it now.

    The door’s now fully open. There they are. Layers upon layers of them. Bubble wrap.

    Please step out of the closet. Plea—

    The pills have gone silent now. I step inside with the wraps and I close the door behind me.

    • Yvette Carol

      The pills are crying. The pills have gone silent. Way to invest them with some unearthly power JB. Scared me…

      • I loved that part, too.

      • Thanks Yvette. Didn’t mean to scare you though.

        • Yvette Carol

          JB…to my mind, any reaction in a reader is a good thing. Its more of a worry when they have no reaction, right?

          • Yeah, I guess you’re right. Whether it be negative or positive any reaction will help a writer in his craft as opposed to no reaction at all.

            Thanks 🙂

    • Marianne Vest

      I just laughed such a big guffaw that I scared my cat. You are so wonderful. Bubble wrap. I have some here that I could mail to you if you will send me some oreos. If it’s a present it’s rude not to appreciate it, really appreciate it.

      • Thanks Marianne. Glad you had fun reading. 🙂

    • I love the personification of the addiction in your story. It’s amazing how things and ideas have voices that call to us.

      • Yeah I’ve to agree with your comment. The addiction in my story may be funny but it works like the rest. They keep on calling us.

  • Awesome post. I’ve said this before somewhere else, writing – pouring your heart and guts out – is brave. There is nothing worse than inner demons fighting for control of your emotions. Thanks for an uplifting and practical article. Cheers!

  • Thinking about it, I had been weaseling myself out of writing on my story every day. I really need to refocus myself back to working on it.

    However, I should try the “asking yourself questions” trick, since it seems like a great idea. I think that stating your goals might help, but this might help too.

  • Marianne Vest

    I think this is the fastest writing I’ve ever done, but then it’s a subject near to my heart.

    She gave up sweets. She had given up sweets. She was giving up sweets.
    Right on the third sentence.
    Sweets include pie,cake, candy, ice cream, cookies, and granola bars. Sweets include presweetened cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Captain Crunch whether eaten with milk from a bowl, or by the handfuls from the box in front of the television.
    She knew all that. She had thought about it every day for almost two weeks. Her sister had said that it only would be one week before she stopped wanting sweets, yet she stood there in front of the cupboard wondering if cinnamon coated graham crackers counted as cookies. They weren’t really very sweet. She looked at the calories, 130 for two rectangles, not bad.
    She took them down, opened the inside pack and smelled the sugar and cinnamon. She put two on a plate, and carried them and a cup of coffee to the dining room. She knew, as she left the box on the counter, that she might be back, and that she shouldn’t have but the two, yet she left it there anyway, and she left it open.
    She ate two small bites out of the first rectangle while reading a novel, but then she put the novel down. What was the point in eating them if she was going to pretend like she wasn’t eating them, she thought.
    She took another bite, and thought about the 130 calories. If she added some lemon curd it would only cost 50 more calories and she would have something that tasted vaguely like pie, but then that would be sweets. What was she doing her, trying to lose weight or, trying not gain weight, or just denying herself one of the most innocuous of life’s pleasures?
    Oh semantics! Just the worry over the graham crackers showed that they were trouble, mildly sweet trouble in a blue box with three inner packs.
    She got up, threw the two rectangles in the trash. Then she looked to the box. She took the first or the three inside sections, the ones wrapped in stiff waxy semi-transparent paper, and threw that section out onto the grass rectangle by rectangle. Something would eat it, if not birds then squirrels.
    She went back to her novel congratulating herself, proud of her strength.
    Later that night, she woke from a bad dream, went to the kitchen, took the rest of the Graham Crackers from their wrappings and threw them from the porch onto the grass. She stood there holding the empty box feeling more crazy than self-congratulatory but knowing that she was still a victor of sorts.

    • I think we’re trying to kick similar habits, Marianne!

    • This made me laugh. Love your playful voice in this.

      • Marianne Vest

        Thanks Joe.

    • Yvette Carol

      Way to capture every nuance of the inner dialogue Marianne!

      • Marianne Vest

        Thanks Carol.

    • Nicely done. Gimme bubble wrap and I’ll give you your Oreos. A fair trade. 🙂

  • Your strange truth about blogging everyday is so true. Why haven’t I applied this to my other writing?!?
    ———————————
    Mel sat near the edge of the lake and kicked at the murky water. She preferred her reflection rippled and unrecognizable. Something unrecognizable was closer to the truth than anything else these days.

    Trying to decipher her reflection wasn’t helping so she looked out across the lake. Fathers were sailing tiny boats with their sons. Mothers were jogging nearby with strollers like the third leg of a tripod. Mel wondered if they were all content or just keeping up appearances. She had given up what made her feel that way thirty-three days ago.

    Mel pulled her feet back from the water and bent her legs beneath her. The grass made her knees itch and the damp soles of her shoes against her thighs made the dry air seem chilly. She hated every ounce of herself that wanted to go back to that life. But she didn’t hate the life itself. Contract killing is an art. Mel was Van Gogh in the shadows with a gun. Was.

  • Watertoaster

    Wow, I want to try #3 on everything!

  • Watertoaster

    She had just come back from the therapist. After realizing the damage her criticizing was having on her personal relationships, she decided to do something about it. Criticism can become a bad habit just like smoking or overeating. A way to cover up our vulnerabilities. Expressing specifically what we like is more risky. Gives people too much information. A door inside. What kind of power and control does that give them? Cutting people and things to pieces takes the focus off ourselves and puts the other in a wounded position. It had become a limiting lifestyle for her.

    Not anymore, she would not let habitual criticism hold her back any longer. At the very next opportunity, she would make an effort to catch herself and find something positive to say, no matter how glaring the flaw was.

    The next opportunity presented itself when her 9 year old son arrived home from school.

    “Mom, look what I drew for the cover of my book report.”

    He held up a picture he made depicting a scene from “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. He had chosen to draw the part where Aslan, the lion, was being sacrificed. It was a plain, pencil sketched drawing lacking detail and dimension. He never had much artistic talent or desire. His drawings always looked like they came from a much younger child. There were some very clear areas he could improve the picture though. Even without much ability. He could have added some color and outlined with a Sharpie…wait…it was happening. This was where she was supposed to stop herself. In the head- before it made its way out the mouth.

    But how could she help him improve if she didn’t point out the flaws? He could obviously present a much more improved report by incorporating some very simple suggestions she had. Maybe this was not the time to hold back. Not helping him is like neglect. Child abuse. This is precisely the problem with other parents. Those parents who don’t take the time to work with their child to ensure a level of excellence. That’s why those kids don’t get accepted into the better colleges. No, she was not going to let that happen to her Alex.

    “That is a good…draft…let’s sit down and see what you can do…”

    “Mom, it’s finished. I turned the report in.” He flipped to the last page. “I got an A+!”

    She gave him a long hug.

  • Thank you! I have ambitiously given myself the task of a) writing my first novel and b) blogging about the experience (http://wp.me/2qjy2), and this post will definitely help me stick to both…or at least one of them…

  • I’ve gotten much better over the past year about writing. It’s been difficult because of the kids, so there are days when the writing I do is catch-as-catch-can. (And I’ve been training myself to write with the background noise).

    My problem–or a question– is that I don’t feel like I’m really writing unless I am producing new stuff, whether it is useful material or not. I’ve got a lot of first drafts set aside in a filing cabinet, and I have been working on some of them after a few months have passed by. But I don’t feel like I am actually writing as I re-work these pieces. This may sound silly, but is it really writing when I re-write a sentence six or seven times–or a paragraph, for that matter? I *know* it’s a part of writing, but it just doesn’t feel like it. I am very disappointed when I spend time doing re-writes but not making entries in my practice notebook (usually for lack of time–I get about an hour in the evening, uninterrupted–and uninterrupted time is very important for maintaining one’s train of thought–hence the “distracted” in my bio).

    • Marianne Vest

      I feel for you Casey. It must be awful to have so little time and to have to make revisions like that. I think it is a part of writing, but I know what you mean. It’s not as creative to do the revisions as it is to write new stories or scenes. The fun part to me is the creative part not the revising and I wish you had more time to do what is fun.

      • I love you, Marianne. You always make me feel better. Thank you. It is just one chapter of my life, after all. So I’m sure I will get more time one day, and wish my kids were small again.

    • Yvette Carol

      Casey, I feel for you too, and in really visceral way! I’ve had both boys at home two days of this week so far, as they’ve been ill, and it’s been nigh on impossible to get a thing of my own done. So how you manage to come up with any output being a home-schooling mom, I do not know. It’s mind boggling frankly.
      And I am with you, rewriting is not writing. I should know! I’ve been stuck in re-write mode for years!! The genesis period of writing is where it’s at 🙂

    • All good writing is rewriting. So yes, you’re rewriting is probably MORE important than your creating. Although, like Marianne said, it’s not as fun.

      I’m impressed with your commitment, Casey. It takes courage to write when you only have an hour a day to yourself.

  • LKWatts

    Hi Joe,

    I always make sure I write whenever I can. And now I have completed two books in three years. If you REALLY want to do it you’ll always find a way 🙂

    • Wow. That’s amazing. Congratulations!

      • LKWatts

        Thank you. I’m feeling rather proud of myself at the moment 😉 I need to start on my third novel now 🙂

  • redbear

    Howdy Angelo: I am in exactly the same situation as you. Been retired since 02 and took up writing just last year as a hobby to preserve whats left of my sanity. I wish I hadn’t waited till I was seventy to pick up the pen, but it is what it is and here I am. I like your idea about setting limits and I keep saying I’ll join a writers group, maybe I can find the time to do that. Happy trails and happy writing. Redbear

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  • I can’t say no to anything interesting.

    That’s why I’m not better.

    It’s a curse and a blessing.

  • Dale Rogers

    My subconscious is always on the lookout for new ideas for my work. When I find one, I feel instantly inspired, and that’s when I’m the most motivated to write.

  • Wanda Kiernan

    “Make a plan” has worked best for me.  Having a long term goal, with smaller, more manageable goals to get me there has helped me to stay focused and disciplined.

  • Jacqueline Ada

    I am not disciplined at all!  This is a very encouraging post.  When I decided to start writing, the idea was to tell a story to be scripted, now I want to turn it to both a book and a screenplay.  I’ve been at this pursuit for close to one year now.  I have written down quite a bit, but I know I could have written a lot more if I am more disciplined.  I could spend a day writing and editing my content, look and feel proud of what I’d done, but then it takes me another two weeks to get back to my writing.  

    I told myself I would go at my own pace and not allow myself to feel pressured to write, however, I think more than that is fear; I’m still intimidated by writing, although I don’t really have any problem while in the writing process.  I want to take my time to make sure I tell a well-rounded story, but I don’t want it to take five years!

    Thanks a lot for this post!

    http://msadaku.blogspot.com

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  • ron

    It had been three days since Marcelline’s boss had given her the ultimatium , and her will was running thin. The urge to smoke was overwhelming. She knew that if she slipped up even once she’d be fired. If she ever smoked again at all, it would have to be at home. She also knew she would need to get the smell of smoke out of her clothes. This fact only complicated the problem. Her entire life had been about smoking. Smoking is what she lived for. Most of her money went to support her habit. “Maybe I need a psychologist,” she thought.

  • Line Gregersen

    I talked to a coach about reaching your goals actually, and she didn’t say anything(coaches dosn’t do that) but instead kept asking what i would feel like when i got this thing done, what kind of person I would be if I finished this project, what would i accomplich by doing that, and so on. today just by recreating that sensational feeling i get when picturing myself getting the project done, i find the motivation for quitting many of the others, less important, habits. Allow yourself to dream BIG for 5 minutes, it feels amazing, and its a feeling that lasts i think! 😀

  • RJ

    This is awesome! Thank you so much Joe.

  • Jeff

    He opened another tab, then another, then another. There was
    so much to read. So much to learn. How could he possibly have anything of value
    to write himself? He still needed more information on whatever topic it was he
    might pursue. Only a fool would write something uneducated. Yet most things he
    read were foolish.

    Even in the big papers – New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune – there was so much crap. Especially in those papers. It seemed
    like the bigger the budget the bigger the bullshit.

    The Middle East was home to savages. The government elites were honorable, beloved, noblemen. The corporate aristocracy was who everyone wanted to emulate and be. The market was God. Capitalism was heaven.

    School closings in Philly were a very narrow issue about
    budgets. There just wasn’t enough money. “Schools Suffer Under Budget Crisis”
    the headlines read. In another tab “Al Qaeda Militants Killed in Drone Strike”, another tab “Should Americans Be Happy Megacorp Purchased All The Media?” another tab “Should Edward Snowden Be Sentenced to Death or Life in Prison?”

    HE couldn’t stand it anymore. He needed to write. He needed
    to add his voice into the discourse. He had to throw his perspective into the
    discussion. He knew he had a lot to offer. He believed he could take on the top
    players in the national arena – and win. He was better than them.

    Only his old habits held him back. He was so used to being a
    reader but not a writer. That seemed easier. More invisible. Less vulnerable.
    Instead of writing actual articles or blogs he would just repost thousands of
    others’ to Facebook with a witty little sentence or paragraph.

    Fuck it. I need to actually take these people on. I need tojoin Glenn Greenwald’s team, and Edward Snowden’s, and Chelsea Manning’s, and Marissa Alexander’s, and Trayavon Martin’s.

    I need to challenge Goldman Sachs, Barrack Obama, the CIA,
    SRC, and DOD. I need to yell about the hypocrisy of a country that claims it’s
    the most free when it has the highest incarceration rate in the world. How
    could Americans be so blind? The only reason is that those who write the most,
    and those who are paid to write, are made to manipulate. Those who would have
    something meaningful to add to the discussion stay silent, become co-opted, or
    never attain a tall enough platform to be seen.

    This is the year I’ll start a blog. Some shit will be good.
    Some shit will be shit. But shit is about to get real.

  • Sarah

    I am that person you’ve described at the beginning of this article. Thank you for giving me some tips on how to overcome the lack of willpower.

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