Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Writing + Less Chatter = Finished Manuscript

I read an article some time ago that advised authors to focus on writing more and talking less about their works in progress (WIP). I could not agree more and I can bear witness to the many distractions that keep us from writing. Some are necessary evils like early promotion, blogging, social networking, our day jobs, family, etc. But, it is too easy to log-in to our Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds only to later find ourselves 2 hours later watching cat videos gone viral on YouTube. I know. These temptations are hard to resist. But, if we are going to have any chance at finishing what we start, it is critical to stay balanced and focused. Here are a few tips to help us all stay on-track:

1)  Save the chatter about your next romantic, sci-fi , mystery thriller for your editor and the interviews you'll do on your upcoming blog tour. Doing so will keep you progressing towards completion of your manuscript.

2)  Schedule your social media visits and limit the time spent there. Start the day with the the platform-building stuff. Then, treat it like you are meeting a friend for coffee and you only have 15 minutes to catch up on the dish. Set a timer. When your time is up, log-off and get back to work.

3)  When people ask you how your book is coming, focus your answers on stats rather than content. If you are 60% done, say that. No need to go into details about the problems you are having with plot or character development. Save those tidbits for your editor or critique group because they will help you resolve those issues constructively.

4)  Keep writing and follow your instincts. The most important thing that writers can do is to keep writing. Remember that what you do is important. Everything that somebody reads is something that somebody else wrote. Vow to never allow yourself to be distracted from your writing again.

Keep your pen to the paper! remember, inspiration is everywhere...

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