Understanding Akrasia OR How To Write A Book

Writing a book is hard. That’s what this is all about, and there’s a part of me that wants to fail. My sister recently sent me a link about Akrasia and said “this is what you have“. Turns out that if you’re reading this, you’re likely to have it too.

So what is Akrasia? In a nutshell it’s that classic self-defeating strategy of not following through on our plans. It seems that a lot of the strategies used so far in this blog (The Accountability Packet, The Writer’s Silence to name the big two) are already facing into the Akrasia problem and attempting to undermine the underminer.

Here’s a good link to follow up and read more on Akrasia (just make sure you read it now and not bookmark it for later then never ever open it again) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/the-akrasia-effect-why-we_b_10576458.html

The counter-strategies that were formed in the first week or two of this writing project are working so far, but with problems. Accountability and Silence are excellent bedfellows, but there is a third beast lurking under the covers, or maybe in the wardrobe; consistency.

You can notice it on the counter on the front page of this blog. My daily word counts, aiming to hit 400-500 words a day, are wildly all over the place. 1000 one day, 0 the next, then 100, then 400. I’m sticking to my early starts and will often find myself sat at the laptop, staring at the end of the last sentence written and thinking how to continue (wow, how many lasers did that cat just fire?!).

And it is in that moment, when I should be writing, that I’m finding this sneaky defeatist cycle, bringing up something anything else to do at that moment.

Move chairs. Sip tea. Check the news. Make sure the laptop is charged. Whatever it is, these tiny actions are lumped together and I’ll find myself twenty minutes later, with zero words.

Then the usual demon of procrastination wanders in, high on all these small moments, and offers me the out that I’m looking for. Sometimes is works, sometimes it fails. But the problem is, is that it is there and getting more regular. The Accountability Packet, my defence up until now, is fading into memory.

I’m not sure how to battle this. Until I do, it’s zero words today (this blog was one of the procrastination options) and zero words yesterday. A thousand the day before that. So it goes.

It’s Month 4 of 12. Sheyit there’s not much time left.

Thanks for reading

– Tom

By | 2018-03-26T15:30:26+00:00 May 13th, 2017|How To Write A Book, Month Four, Year One|2 Comments

About the Author:

I'm thirty five this year and for work I run my own small website/digital design business. I have a best friend and luckily she is also my wife. This is all capped off with our three year old daughter, who is the greatest/messiest thing ever. I'm writing One Book One Year to kick my own ass into gear with a long term dream, otherwise I'll never do it.


  1. Laura Cross May 14, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Just wanted to post a word of support. Hope you have managed to get some writing done this weekend. Looking forward to reading the completed story x

    • Tom May 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you for the support! It is honestly invaluable and thanks for reading! 🙂 Alas, the weekend proved a difficult one and Akrasia held sway. I’m a bit disappointed, but there’s a brand new week looming and I’m switching that negative approach into a positive one.

      However, I’m posting myself a word of warning here – if I congratulate myself now on a great week of writing about to happen, then the cards will tumble down and it’ll fall apart. So let’s start with tomorrow.

      5.30am. 1,000 words. Tick that off, then do it again. Forget the week.

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