Peggy Bechko: Writers, are You Writing?


by Peggy Bechko

No, really, are you writing the projects you want to and need to complete? Are you getting those ideas down on paper? Writing stories? Writing articles?

Or do you feel like you’re not getting any writing done despite the fact that you sit in front of a computer for hours, fingers flying? Do you feel like you’re accomplishing little to nothing, that you’re procrastinating, not getting to the writing you need to do?

Of course you’re writing. I’ll bet you’re sending emails to friends and business associates, probably texting like crazy, posting to Facebook, maybe writing promo blurbs. How much writing does all that add up to? Have you added it up? How many words did you write with all that?

Well, doesn’t matter really, so many of us writers are writing what we think we need to write; posting to blogs (like this one!), tweeting, facebook pages, Linked In and even more.

And yes, we pretty much do need to do those things, but that means there are more and more demands on time we’ve carved out for writing stories, articles and the like.

Look, Hemingway and Steinbeck didn’t have these problems. I mean don’t you find yourself putting off the ‘real’ writing to get these other chores done? And what about cell phones, tablets and laptops? Yep, we’re constantly in touch, constantly working, constantly writing. At the same time we wonder why we aren’t getting more done.

Have we all gone insane?

Technologies that promised to lighten our work load (such as computers in the beginning, word processors that meant we wouldn’t have to type and erase and retype any more) have actually ended up adding to it.

So, what are we to do?

Want my advice?

Yep, I write this blog, guest on TV Writer, I Facebook and I Twitter. Even Pinterest. But here’s the thing. I focus on what counts and a bit of small distraction I enjoy. I focus my time (even give myself allotted minutes to accomplish tasks), then get off the net and get down to writing work. Put away the phone and the tablet, close my browser.

Slow down, pull back. In an era when we can ‘do business anywhere’ …. we shouldn’t. You can’t do it all even if you’re foolish enough to want to. And, keep in mind, you’re not going to be able to promote your work to all those ‘outlets’ if you don’t get that writing work done.

Hey, that’s where technology can help again. Tweets will pile up – you can check them later. Same with Facebook. Phones can take messages. Emails can wait, they’ll be saved on your account, even if they’re fan mail. Give yourself a break and get down to what you really want to accomplish.