Neil Gaiman: writing to escape boredom

Series: How famous writers beat procrastination

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If you think not procrastinating is hard, imagine being a world famous author.

Imagine you have millions of followers on your social media accounts, all eagerly waiting for your next tweet or post. Imagine how you could engage with your fans all day, every day and how it'd be addictive and so much fun.

On top of that, imagine you have a family. A wonderful spouse and a young child.

Wouldn't it be distracting?

Despite being in that situation, Neil Gaiman writes often and well. Over the years, he's developed a simple method that helps him write without procrastination.

Let's get specific.

Neil Gaiman's writing process

For the first draft, he uses a fountain pen and a physical notebook. He goes to a place he likes and orders tea. Then, he writes.

Or, doesn't.

You see, Neil has a rule: he either writes, or he does nothing. Either/or, no in between.

So if he doesn't feel particularly motivated to write right from the start, he intentionally gets bored.

After some time of doing nothing, he starts making up stories to entertain himself and starts writing.

This process is repeated, day by day. Fountain pen, notebook, tea, do nothing or write.

Sometimes he uses different colored ink on different days to see how much progress he made on previous days.

Once the first draft is done on paper, he types it up on his computer and simultaneously edits it.

 

Deprocrastination analysis

There are several key points to his method:

 

How could you use this?

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Neil Gaiman: writing to escape boredom

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