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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2017 > Productive PROCRASTINATION


Keeping your nose to the grindstone isn’t good for your health or writing. Make time for downtime, and make the most of it, with advice from Sophie Beal

Starting your work-in-progress would have seemed a good idea at the time. For the first few weeks or months the words came freely. But perhaps now you’ve run out of ideas. Or you’ve found a plot hole and can’t think how to mend it without beginning again. Every time you think about your work-in-progress you feel depressed. Looking at it would only make you feel worse. Sound familiar?

In the words of Iris Murdoch: ‘Every novel is the wreck of a perfect idea.’

Here are twelve things you can do that aren’t your book but are still good for your writing. In fact, you should have done more of them before, but you were too busy with your masterpiece.

1 Read

‘Read, and then read some more.’ It’s the piece of advice almost all published authors will give you, although they may disagree as to whether this should be within or outside your genre. Stephen King says: ‘If you haven’t enough time to read you haven’t enough time to write.’

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