Thursday, September 10, 2009


The story has been burning inside of you for a long time. It's like a child waiting to be born and you feel all the excitement, the anticipation of wanting to watch it grow up and go off into the world, maybe even make its mark on the world.

Only, there's another part of you that gets in the way of all this, a part that doesn't want to see you sit down and devote a sizable chunk of your life-time to a creative pursuit like writing a novel. You might never finish it, and even if you do it might never be sold. Or it might sell and drift quietly and quickly into the oblivion that awaits the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of other novels out there.

The thing to do is to feed this other part, the part that will stop at nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to get you to NOT write. The key to keeping this non-writing part of you alive and well is distractions. Here are a few easily mastered techniques to help you NOT write the book(s) you know you were meant to write.

  • BLOGS. Own multiple blogs. Write posts everyday. Accumulate masses of blog pals and read and respond to their posts every day.
  • WIDGETS. Welcome to the amazing world of widgets, those neat little gadgets that will allow you to place cute stuff on your blog, website or CPU, from live webcam feed of beaches to colored balls that bounce all over your desktop. Weather updates, clocks, maps, slideshows, a cat that sits on your desktop and does absolutely nothing - they're all available and free, thousands of them, enough to keep you happily NOT WRITING for years to come.
  • RESEARCH. Internet research, specifically. You're a writer, right? So everything is possible grist for your mill. Those hours you spent reading every comment on the Rihanna vs. Chris Brown debacle? Research. YouTube? Research. Porn sites? Research. Gossip columns? ...You get the drift.
  • FACEBOOK. Hell, it's networking, right? Writers need to do that. How else will they connect with other writers and readers? Okay, future readers, then, if the book hasn't been written yet. Which it hasn't.
  • SHOPPING. Take Amazon to heart. Embrace it. Accumulate links to every online catalog you can find. There are millions of items for you to peruse, compare and save to wish lists, gift lists, shopping lists, and carts. Then - proceed to checkout. Amazing what you can do with a few clicks these days...
  • PROCRASTINATION. This is tried and true and it works because it allows you to lie to yourself. You're not sayin' you won't write the damned book. You're just sayin' you won't write it RIGHT NOW.
  • HOUSEWORK. This is a great one because it's legitimate - sort of. And since housework is never done you can fall back on it at any time and have sparkling proof that you were too busy doing 'real' work to write.

Writing is done in solitude so there's nothing to prevent us from distracting ourselves
ad infinitum. We're accountable only to ourselves - and accountability can be put off till tomorrow. ;) Please feel free to weigh in with your own tried and true techniques for NOT WRITING that book of yours that's dying to be born.

Liane Spicer


Jewel Amethyst said...

You hit the nail on the head: guilty, guilty, guilty on at least three counts.

Additional distracters: the all important family time (even if it's just watching tv in one room while the kids are playing in another with no interaction between you and them), and chatting on the phone about your intentions to write.

Debs said...

I even do the ironing in an attempt at not writing, but mostly watch tv, make countless cups of tea and take the dog for a walk.

Phyllis Bourne said...

Dangit, you got me on the multiple blogs.

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, my son is grown and lives on his own so I don't have the 'kids' excuse any more, but I'm pretty much guilty of all the others. :(

Debs, ironing? LOL! I haven't been driven to ironing yet; my current poison is cleaning out closets. Works like a charm and can take weeks if you do it right!

Liane Spicer said...

Phyllis, if that's all you're guilty of you're doing all right!

Carleen Brice said...

You ain't never lied!

Debi said...

All except Facebook. But sadly I have to confess to an addiction to playing Snake on my mobile *blush* - I've worn the keys out!

Liane Spicer said...

Carleen, yanno what they say - admitting it is the first step.

Debi, we really are sisters! I used to play Snake on my Nokia obsessively. I even started playing it in my sleep. O_O But then I drowned that phone on a hike in the forest. Maybe just as well...

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Great post.

I think working out is a good one. It's healthy and I am still "writing" just in my head>

Liane Spicer said...

Nyc/caribbean ragazza, thank you!

Working out has to be the best one yet. I'd love to have a thin, toned body to show for my writing avoidance!