If you wanna be a writer, you gotta write.

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG will be Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, Viola Fury, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris!

It’s time to take a deep breath and relax! Many of us are coming off the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge and might be feeling a little burnt out on blogging. I also moved this past weekend, so I’m definitely more than a bit bedraggled. I’ll try to keep this short, for your sake and mine.

Today I’m going to talk about how you have to write a lot to make writing work. What do I mean by that? Well.

Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a writer, and when I’m writing the world feels right (I accidentally typo-ed that as ‘write’). So why don’t I do more writing and less time distracting myself from writing with unnecessary things? I feel like that’s probably a question a lot of writers ask themselves. I actually have a lot of free time where I COULD be writing, much more than I do now, but…you know how it is. I know if I want to be a career writer I have to treat it like a job. I know this. I need to remember it, as well.

Chuck Wendig has a great, simple philosophy on how to be a writer (NSFW for language), which boils down to ‘write a lot as fast as you can.’ I want to print out his advice and stick it next to my writing spot, because I know that’s what I should be doing, instead of making blog posts and playing Neko Atsume. In fact, I’m going to try to be a better writer in the sense I start writing more and more often, because it just feels so darn good to write and I don’t know why I don’t indulge myself more.

How about you? Are you wasting valuable writing time?

46 comments

  1. Well, personally, I think that the stategy ‘write as much as you can as fast as you can’ works when you start off. At the beginning of your writer’s career, you need to learn the ropes and to learn what you like and what you don’t like. What kind of stories you like to write, what style you prefer to use. The sooner you sort this out, the sooner you’ll come to the next stage.

    But once you ‘are’ at the next stage, I don’t think this startegy works quite as well. When you have learned the ropes, then you have to fine-tune what you’ve learned, and that’s something that requires ‘brain’ not just ‘muscles’. At this stage, writing as much as yo can as fast as you can might actually bring you nowhere, if you don’t pause and reflect on where you’re going.

    I never stopped writing, mind you, but I came to a point where I felt I had to learn by listening, more than by imitating. So I started reading about writing. I leanred the words and the concepts, I read of critic reading.
    This isn’t fast going. In order to read, learn and apply what you’ve learned to your writing, you need to write consciously, and this is slow going. No more just imitanting, but trying to do things in your own way. This means writing and rewtriting, and rewriting after planning.

    Does this requirest time as well? Demn right it does. But I think, when you’re out of the ‘learning the ropes’ stage, it’s more a matter of how you use your time, than how much you write.

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    1. Very good points! I know the more I learn, and every time I learn something new, I’m a little more meticulous the next time I write (with the hopes I won’t have as much work to do at the editing/revising stage this time). That can very well slow you down, and make your writing better for it.

      In the end it boils down to ‘you gotta write,’ though. Sometimes I find myself so caught up in the ‘lifestyle’ of writing and all the side work that comes with being published I forget that essential part. That’s really what this post was about, reminding myself to WRITE!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are plenty of times I should be writing and instead I’m procrastinating. Sometimes it’s hard to be disciplined. At those times I feel like I need a boss to manage me, but I’m the boss and if I’m going to make this work then I need to boss myself around.

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  3. Write more, do other things less: that is my goal for May. I’ve been getting more irritable and downright bored (and not sleeping as well) from not writing very much lately, mostly due to the A to Z challenge. Now that all that blogging is behind me, it’s writing, here I come (I hope!). 🙂

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  4. Sometimes it feels like an indulgence to take time to sit down and write when there are other things to do with my day job that needs to be done. Then sometimes I end up on the internet and not doing either of those things 😦 Writing more seems like a good commitment.

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  5. Argh! I think my comment just got eaten by the mysterious forces in the blogging world! Yes, I do waste valuable writing time. I know I could use time more efficiently. I consider writing blog posts writing. It’s a genre that has taught me a lot about writing, and I appreciate the feedback. Good luck with your writing!

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  6. Interesting question, Megan! I know I am wasting writing time. I am not an efficient user of time, and I play Bejeweled too much (It calms my raging mind). I enjoyed Chuck Wendig’s post. I agree with aandj8804’s comment. I consider creating blog posts as writing. I’ve learned a great deal about writing through my blogging, and I’ve gotten a lot of helpful feedback. If it weren’t for blogging, I would have given up writing! good luck with your writing!

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    1. Agreed, I think blogging is a good form of writing! I definitely think it’s good to get feedback. I think sometimes I need to step away from the writing ‘lifestyle’ and the social media stuff and do the actual writing…I let too many things distract me!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  7. I can waste a lot of time. I must find out what Neko Atsume is. It sounds like an excellent addition to my repertoire of time wasters 🙂

    For some reason, I have no problem dedicating time to writing my blog posts, but find it much more difficult to stay focused on writing my novel. Not sure why.

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    1. Gosh, I shouldn’t be trying to get other people addicted, but it’s a game for your phone where you literally collect cats. It’s like a crazy cat lady training kit!

      I’m the same way! Here’s to trying to focus more on the novel side of things!

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  8. NO! I’m not wasting time. *pouts* But in all seriousness, I think I may have chosen the worst phase of life to start this writing career thing–meaning I have a kid in college, one in diapers, and two between who are home schooling. Maybe there is no good time, but between taking care of them and attempting to take care of myself, writing is a miracle. But miracles are possible, eh? As long as there’s cheese.

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  9. This is great advice that I also need to stick to much more often than I’d like to admit. I’m printing that quote and hanging it on my board. Thanks for the great motivation and inspiration. Hope it works for you as well.

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  10. I feel like blog posts definitely count as writing. I mean – maybe you are afraid to write or finish a book or article and you spend time blogging to avoid it. That’s one thing. But at least with blog writing you get feedback – someone to say “Hey! That works!” or … no response at all, which, granted, may not mean much or it may mean you need to work on your skill.

    Hope you are able to get back on track and write as much as needed to make you feel happy and successful.

    May the fourth be with you! (as cliché and stupid as it sounds. But hey! It’s May the fourth! I had to!)

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    1. I never thought of it that way! Blogging is definitely a way to get some immediate feedback. Although, my ‘blogging’ voice and my ‘writing’ voice tend to be different, so I don’t know if feedback on one really helps the other. But it’s food for thought!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Hi Megan. I do agree, write as much and as often as you can. The story sticks in the mind that way and I think it’s easier to keep details consistent in scenes. Thank you! I have my own routine and most of the time it works. 🙂

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    1. That’s a very good point! When you work on something every day the details stick with you and you tend to know where it’s going. The longer you leave something lie, the harder it is to get back into it!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I must admit… I’m bad… I don’t write every day. I never have. I used to feel guilty about it, like I wasn’t a *proper* writer. I’ve gone years without writing a thing. Eventually I realized it didn’t matter, because when I write I’m pretty prolific.

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    1. I’m very much the same way. I don’t write every day, but when I do write, I seem to write A LOT at one time. I think every writer writes differently and we have to stop thinking there’s some ‘right’ way to be a writer.

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  13. Yes! I’m going through a terrible procrastination phase at the moment and really need to snap out of it. In fact even replying to you is a form of procrastination (sorry!) Good luck – I’m off to write something (anything) for half an hour, just to prove I can! 😉

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    1. I feel you. I’ve been using the ‘I’m moving’ excuse for a month now even though I actually had plenty of downtime during that period (and in my defense I DID work on a novella). Good luck! After I get done visiting blogs I’m gonna put my nose to the screen and do some work too…I promise!

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  14. Ah, I do wish I had wasted time. Unfortunately, I’ve got two small kids that like to eat up all that time. 🙂 I don’t get a whole lot of word count down, but I try my best to use my lunch to write here and there. I actually took today off to make sure I could visit blogs! (That and my girl is sick. :()

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand! Real life and its responsibilities often get in the way of our writing. I don’t really have an excuse like that though, my son is an adult–I just need to get my nose back to the grindstone!

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    1. I need to get better about it. I think I’ve gotten caught up in all the things that surround writing–all the promotion and interacting and social media…and I’ve forgotten that you need to WRITE to be a writer!

      I’m glad you have your priorities straight. Best of luck to you!

      Like

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