Thursday, November 13, 2014

Procrastination Station

Writer's block... if you haven't gotten it in the past two weeks of writing, you probably will soon. And I'm not trying to jinx you or anything... it's just something that happens. One way to help combat it and end it more quickly is to distract yourself for a while. (You just have to be careful to write more than you procrastinate.)

A lot of regions have Procrastination Stations on their websites, with fun distractions to get your mind working on something else for a little while. Sometimes they're the types of things that can jumpstart your writing, and sometimes they're just the kind of things that get your mind doing something else so it can relax from thinking about your novel.

This post is my own recommendations for Procrastination Station activities. I keep a bookmark folder in Chrome of some of my favorites. That way, I don't see the links while I'm working (I always have Chrome open while I write, in case I need to do a little quick Google research, look up a new character name, make sure I'm using a word correctly by checking the dictionary, playing music from Pandora or Spotify, and obviously to keep the NaNoWriMo dashboard up so I can update my word count every time I take a break) but they're right there when I need them.

Inspiration-Type Procrastinations

Word of the Day (
The word of the day feature on can be entertaining, informative, and sometimes inspire you to try to use it in your novel. Lots of websites have a "word of the day" tool.

Word Clouds (Wordle)
Use Wordle to make a word cloud out of what you've written so far. It's fun - but also helpful - to see which words you're overusing, or not using enough.

NaNoWriMo Region Website
My region (Hampton Roads) has a cute little Procrastination Station section on their website. It has little games (hangman, word matching, etc.) that don't take up much time, but can get your brain moving in a different direction.

Procrastination-Type Procrastinations

Jigsaw puzzles (Jigzone)
I've always been a fan of Jigzone for a customized time-waster. Since you can change the cut of the puzzle, you can set it to an easier mode to waste five minutes, or a harder mode to waste twenty.

Sudoku / Samurai Sudoku
I got bored with regular sudoku years ago... but I love Samurai Sudoku (five sudoku puzzles stuck together). Like with the jigsaw puzzles, you can choose from different difficulty levels to decide how much time you want to spend on it.

I've also discovered that, this year, when I'm on a computer with two monitors, I play Hearthstone on one monitor and have my novel and Chrome (with my writing tools open) open on the other. If I get out one or two sentences while I wait for my opponent to play their turn, I can get out at least 100 words per game. It's not the most productive I could be, but it's like mini-sprints... I challenge myself to write the next sentence before it's my turn again.


What are your favorite writing procrastinations? Share them with us in the comments!

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