Amanda Flower, an author who is also represented by the Seymour Literary Agency, writes a book every three months. Wha?
I average one per year. (OK, year-ish.)
My powers of procrastination are truly amazing. They definitely top my personal Pointless Super Powers.
I’ve been plotting my work in progress and finally have, I think (Cross my fingers and hope!), made a breakthrough. So I should be busy hammering out the next chapter. Right?
Sure, most of my time is devoted to cultivating my glamorous lifestyle as rural New England homemaker. (Read: Stacking firewood, doing laundry, cleaning toilets, burning dinner, running errands, volunteering at school, playing driveway hockey, arranging playdates, shoveling snow, etc.) But I do have time for writing. If only I didn’t waste it.
Here are the top 10 ways I waste precious writing time:
10. Facebook. I sit at the computer and my fingers automatically type in Facebook.com across the top of the search page. Ten minutes later, when I’m liking a picture of a Mexican dog thinking his town threw him a parade, I remember that I actually sat down to write. Which I then hop to, after checking Twitter and Instagram. Hello, my name is Beth. I am a social media addict.
9. HGTV. It’s better than therapy. Even if the House Hunters almost always choose the wrong house and I spend most of “Yard Crashers” wondering why these neighborhoods don’t have permit laws.
8. Children. They’re always needing me to “read me a book,” “play hockey with me,” “make me lunch,” “take me to school,” “teach me to read.” Greedy time suckers. I kid! I kid! Taking care of my children is my most important task, of course, and one I am blessed to have. It trumps everything else. I only forgot to pick up one of them from the bus stop once because I was writing, and that was four years ago. Not that my girl ever lets me forget it.
7. Naps. ‘Nuf said.
6. Lack of deadline. As a journalist, I’m always given a deadline. I know what I have to do and how long I have to do it. My editor in on me for the missing story the minute it’s late. As an aspiring novelist, I set my own deadline. No one is going to yell at me if I don’t write those 2,000 words I set out to pen. I simply am left with personal shame, which I bury with either No. 10 or No. 7 above.
5. Doubt. What if this manuscript bites? I’ve read somewhere that parents won’t know if they’re doing a good job raising their children until those kids are functioning adults. So the pay off for all this parenting work takes about 20 or so years. Writing a novel? Not much different. An author has no idea if what she’s working on is actually worth reading until it’s done and someone, you know, reads it. And likes it.
4. Cheez-its. They’re not going to eat themselves.
3. Reading. OK, some might say that I’m rationalizing here, but while being curled up on the couch reading a book might appear to be wiling away what could be writing time, I prefer to consider it boosting my industry.
2. I can’t really think of a No. 2, but it seemed weird to have a Top Nine instead of a Top 10. I’m sure I could come up with one, but that would be wasting more time.
And, OK, the moment you've been waiting for ... drum roll...
1. Writing blog posts about writing and procrastination of writing instead of actually writing.