Monday, November 19, 2012

Are You Too Busy Being a Writer to Write?

There is so much a writer needs to do to achieve a successful writing career. We need to network, research, market, critique, edit, mentor, go to workshops, attend conventions, listen to seminars, learn the craft, pitch, blog, tweet, Facebook, email, query, promote, read.

Oh, and write. Don't forget the writing.

The problem is we do forget to write. It gets buried under all the other stuff. It gets shoved away and pushed aside, dropping to the bottom of our list of priorities.

There is only one answer: We need to remember to write. This might sound easy, but it means recalling our passion for the craft, practising discipline, and making the time to write. Our writing sessions don't have to go on for hours so long as we write. 

There is nothing more important to our writing career than our writing.

Are you too busy being a writer to write? What holds you back? What helps you to remember?



51 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. I have recently started to question whether I want social media to eat up so much of my writing time and I don't. Great post.

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    1. Personally I think it's a smart decision to ease up on the social media. It doesn't have to be given up, just managed more carefully.

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  2. yes, I take breaks from social media when I feel like I don't have time to write.
    x

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  3. Sometimes! But I never really intended on making writing a career. After this next book, I just might be done anyway.

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  4. Yup, I'm so busy that I've not written a single dang word in months. I need to find a way to get me back on the horse and stay there.

    Jamie

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    1. yes, you do!! Try feeding the horse some carrots ;)

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  5. thats why i love my notebook. i get inspired at all the time and write it down so i dont forget! the hard part is editing (which is writing but not as fun!) must be done to succeed though!

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  6. A times I definitely stray from my writing road to attend to other avenues of the writing world. It's not easy to juggle it all and keep it all straight. But as you said, we need to remember to write. Thank you for the reminder!

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  7. It's kind of true. On the days I blog I sort of expect to not get much writing done. That's why I only blog twice a week. I find it hard to transition between being online off and on for hours to sinking into my WIP to write. I usually just do some light editing on blog days.

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  8. I honestly have the hardest time with this part of my writing career. The balance is a fine one to strike and I always feel like I'm leaving something out. But getting time to sit down and write always leaves me feeling a little giddy, so I strive for that first. Getting out of the house to get writing done always seems to help to most to ensure that happens!

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    1. Getting out of the house is a good strategy.

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  9. I've been revisiting that thought quite frequently lately, and I have decided to concentrate more on writing and the craft, instead of social media, promotions, etc. Thanks for the reminder, Lynda!

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  10. This is so true! It's so easy to get caught up in all the social media and revisions/editing that sometimes the writing takes the backseat. I have this biggest problem with writing novels, which is why I make a point to do NaNo, so I can at least get one written a year along with all the shorter works I write.

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    1. Yes, I've done that for two years running, but this year I decided not to NaNo... big mistake ;)

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  11. True that. I'm mostly editing now and what is weird is that I'm trying not to write anything new until I get the backlog defeated.

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  12. OH, I totally understand where you're coming from. Right now I'm struggling to keep my personal life and my writing life from overwhelming me. I've cut back a lot on the social media to keep me from going insane. Writing for me is the most important part of being a write--and so it should be. Great post. Have a great week!

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  13. Definitely. And the key point--you have to MAKE time to write sometimes. Life keeps getting in my way though...and holidays!

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  14. Very true! I've been battling bronchitis this last week, and therefore let my blog visiting lapse. Amazingly I got more written on my WIP in the last few days than I have in the last month. (Granted, I was stalled out doing research part of that time, but still...)

    I also worked hard to get 2+ months of blog posts pre-scheduled. That helps, too. :)

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    1. 2+ months of blog posts prescheduled!!!!! I'm impressed.

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  15. I do feel this way. Social media eats up some of my time. I'm trying to get a handle on it and make proper time for everything.

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  16. Perfecting time on this post! I was just chided yesterday about not writing enough. This week I have an excuse...I'm moving across country and have a lot to get ready yet. :) Oh, and I have an almost 6 year old special needs son that requires a lot of 'mommy' time. :)

    I guess it all boils down to how badly I really want it. :)

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    1. That is a handful you have there. I think there are some things that are purely unavoidable. At least moving across country is a once off thing.

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  17. I have no time to write whatsoever :( It's the sadness of my life.... I need to marry a millionaire who would take care of me while I write world's biggest bestseller in history :P

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  18. It's not all the other writerly stuff that gets in the way its all the other life stuff. And there are times when writing totally slips my mind.

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  19. I try to write 1,000 words a day, but I don't always complete that goal. I seem to do best if I write first thing in the morning, before I check my email, Twitter account, or even turn on the radio.

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    1. Yes! It's definitely good to know the ideal time in the day to write. I work best in the mornings as well.

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  20. Some days I need a break. I do write most days, though. Deadlines keep me typing.

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  21. I try to get words down on paper before I do anything else. It's gotten easier over the years, but I still don't write on my WIP every single day. :(

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  22. I write best and accomplish more in the early mornings. After that, all the other stuff takes up my time. Oh, and real life, too.

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  23. I've been busy being a writer, but thank goodness I'm in a writer's workshop spiffing up a prequel. And I write three non-fiction pieces which will be published in December.

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  24. Definitely yes, at times. Trouble is, "spare" time of any description is at such a premium that in order to write at all I have to blitz it in a concentrated effort, which means everything else takes a back seat for a while. At least, while I'm in blitz mode, it's not so easy to forget :)

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  25. Yes, I can so relate to this! There are too many distractions that I forget to write!

    But I love networking with fellow writers! They're so supportive and encouraging of me which I love. This community is awesome!

    Great post! :)

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    1. I totally agree. It's hard to turn the social media off because I have so many friends out there.

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  26. I think that, for most of us, writing is hard work. Social media is easy work. Hey, social media is almost like play. Who wouldn't rather play? Scheduling and staying on schedule as much as possible is the better approach to it all.

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  27. But the other stuff is so much easier!

    I have a saying that someone passed on to me: Would I be better off writing?

    Quite useful that.

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  28. Twitter need only take an hour or two a day. 100 RTs, bit of chat, own book tweets. Facebook/Goodreads can be done every other day. Blogging is something that people have been told they have to be doing in order to sell books. Write one/two blogs a month and make them good. Read one book by another author per week, and review it. You're a writer, not a social media flitterer, a book reviewer or a blogger. There - you now have a few hours left a day in which to write. Oh, and writing groups/forums don't get your books written. Sorted!

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  29. I am an extremely early riser, and I do my best to reserve those first couple of hours before anyone else gets up to write. Once I start my day, though, it's really hard to get back to it.

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  30. That's why I wake up ridiculously early, so that I can get in my 1500 word daily minimum! I'd love to just write and not have to deal with editing or marketing, but we can't live without those!

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  31. Hi Lydia,

    Writers write and marketers market books and publicise! Writers shouldn't waste time in marketing and publicing their book, they should keep books coming!

    Nas

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  32. I love your posts! I DO get too busy to actually write. I've only gotten serious the past two years, but I get pulled in so many directions by life. I get easily distracted by social media too :) It's posts like yours that remind to get back to writing.

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  33. I get easily distracted as well, but I love writing itself too much to get too far distracted. It get a bit twitchy if I don't get my daily writing in!

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  34. Agreed. We've now got so many more ways to legitimately procrastinate! And I'm an expert at procrastination!

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  35. I LOVE this post!! I chuckled as I read the list..the list, which comes before the actuall writing! Ha ha..so true. I'm working on a manuscritp and blogging and writing for our writer's group also. All that after my full time job! When we do get to write some daily it sure helps the flow of a novel. But when you step away for a week...oh it takes so long just to remember where you left off!! Fun piece!

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  36. I think a lot of people are too busy with social networking to write. I put writing first. The thing that holds me back is knowing too much about craft. It was easier to write when I was ignorant. Now I second-, third- or fourth-guess everything even before I actually write it, and then I endlessly revise. Nothing is good enough for me any more ...

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  37. Social media and research eats up a lot of my time, but I'll somehow cram in the writing hours, usually on weekends, to fulfill my goals.

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  38. It's not that I forget. I have to wait for a story to pop. I don't know how many more are left. But, then, that's it.

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  39. Great post! Yes, the blogging thing takes up a lot of time, Twitter, Facebook. I feel like my morning is gone, then there's reading, the taking care of a kid thing, and then I go to work. Come home, get the kid to bed, clean something (always something), and maybe have a spare hour to write before I conk out. I've become more productive on the weekends, at least, though by making sure I leave the house for a few hours to retreat to a library or Starbucks for some writing away time :)

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  40. This is so true. More is being expected of writers each day, and there has to be a point where we say enough and know our limits. A platform, or marketing, or trying to be part of the writing community, these are all important things, but writing has to come first. Sometimes we need to take stock of what we are doing, and decide if we're doing the truly important things, or trying to do it all.
    Great post!

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