Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Advice For Writers: Don't Read Advice

This blog is all about dishing out advice to writers.  I hope it's helpful.  But there comes a point where you've got to stop reading about writing, and just get on with doing it.

Yesterday afternoon was free.  I'd written in the morning, then decided I'd have a quick scoot round the internet over lunch before returning to editing the never ending book.  I scooted.  I read lots of interesting articles about writing, from how to structure a novel to writing flash fiction.  I had a good time, because reading about writing is one of my favourite things.

But lo - when I finally looked up from my lunch time visit it was no longer lunch time, it was tea time and my lovely free afternoon for my own writing had evaporated.  So here's another thing I've learned about writing:

You can read all the advice you like, but at some point you have to get on and do some writing.  There's a time for reading and a time for action, and the time for action is probably right now.


Jean Bull said...

You are so right. It's easy to waste precious time in the name of research, or just catching up with emails etc. One thing easily leads to another!

Giles Diggle said...

Been there!

But on the other hand, writing doesn't have to be a tyranny. You can only do do much in a day, I think. Sometimes when the sun shines in a blue sky, you just have to sit under a tree and enjoy it. I managed to do both yesterday. One life only.

Because of the weather and because I am doing revisions, my word count had dropped from 1000 to 500 a day. The important thing is, I'll get there in the end if I keep at it, come rain or shine

Sarah Duncan said...

Jean, one thing most definitely leads to another unless you're careful. I use a kitchen timer, to remind myself of how long I'm lingering (but forgot it yesterday).

Giles, oh yes, we're not writing machines, there has to be time to just flop and think, and have a life.

Marina Sofia said...

Oh, the number of times this has happened to me! I think I need to give myself a day off or a couple of hours off, but be strict about it. Or reward myself with a nosey around other people's blogs after I have done my writing for the day. But easier said than done...