2 important things all writers should know

Only two? Well, let’s start there.

  1. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT GENRE? Ignore it. Writing a story isn’t about genre.
  2. Do social media because you like it, not because it’s something you’re supposed to do

That’s true of your blog, too. And mine.

I’ve heard these two idioms bounced around for a long time, by several authors, and they resonate because I believe them. (There are lots of others, but that’s for another time.)

These are the ones I need in my head right now.

I need to finish a book I’m writing.

I need to edit a book I finished writing. And edit another one that’s finished…

I allowed myself to get distracted and now the sand feels like it’s almost out of the hour glass. Shame on me.

So? What’s that got to do with those two bullet points?

They were bothering me, not just today, but for a while. I’d heard them before but I’d forgotten them, so when I saw those points again today, it underscored what I already knew. I made a note of it and shared it with you in case they were bothering you. I’m generous that way.

What the heck genre does my current story fit into??? It doesn’t really matter. It especially doesn’t matter right now, today, with it not complete.

But I also need to tweet and blog or my fan base will dry up and disappear. Well, some fans MIGHT disappear if they don’t hear from you today or this week, but if you don’t finish your book a lot more fans WILL go away. Cos they like chatting with you but you’re supposed be putting out stories for them.

Right, right. (Or should that say Write, write?) Finish the story THEN worry about that stuff.

It’s easy to get distracted and worried about stuff that isn’t a priority, even for me – and I’m one of the most structured people I know!

Now I can get back to finishing my story.

Go finish yours.

7 thoughts on “2 important things all writers should know

  1. I am right there with you, Dan! It’s easy to get pulled in so many directions that you lose sight of the big picture. Sometimes I just need to shut down the noise, take a step back, and regain my focus.

    I’m off to write…and I can’t wait to read your new story!

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  2. I know you are, CJ!

    It’s SO easy to get distracted, and it means we have to tune out those distractions, and when we get that free time, we USE IT TO WRITE. I never finished a day when I said “I wish I’d have checked Twitter again.” I have many times I wished I could get another hour to write. or half hour. or 15 minutes…

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    • For me, the distractions turn into writers block. Too many thoughts about what I need to do, what I need to learn, and what I’m doing wrong tend shut down my creative side. No random story ideas pop into my head, and NOTHING flows when I sit down to write.

      That’s when I know it’s time to walk away from the distractions and remind myself that NONE of it matters if I don’t write my story…one of the many pieces of great advice you’ve given me.

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  3. This seems to be the Catch 22 most writers are in. I know I certainly feel that if I get lost (also revising my book) and abandon social media and blog I’ll lose readers and vice versa. It’s very overwhelming the pressure we put on ourselves to remain present.

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  4. Yep. Too many writers have a presence in too many places because they feel they’re supposed to. That’s the wrong reason. Do what you enjoy and don’t do the other stuff, cos nobody wants to read something put out by somebody who didn’t love, love, LOVE doing it.

    I could walk away from Twitter tomorrow and not miss it. Titter probably caused me to reduce my Facebook posts by 90%. My blog probably caused my Facebook posts to go down by 50%. I should go back to what I used to do, posting on Facebook but through an author page, copy something interesting from Fb onto the blog once a week, and screw twitter.

    I’m doing the right things in the wrong places. My Facebook posts would get dozens of comments and discussions because Fb is much more interactive and integrated. That was the social side of social media. This blog gets very few comments, for whatever reason. I appreciate every one of them, and it may grow to be a discussion place, but I’d be asking it to become what FB already is. At some point we writers need to have fun and stop trying to put a rudder on a car and call it a boat, because all the thing we feel like we’re supposed to do are really taking away from the one thing we should be doing overall. Writing books.

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