A very important part of any writer’s life is learning how to not do what they really ought to be doing which is writing. Everyone knows that the only way to get a book written is to put your bottom into a chair, put your fingers on a keyboard and hey presto writing happens. But before the writing happens there are dozens and dozens of vitally important things that crop up and need attention before any words can come out.
Here are our favourites:
1. Check your email. Someone somewhere must need to contact you
2. Answer your email – obviously vital to reply immediately and to set up a chain of letters going backwards and forwards – this is an essential way to take up valuable writing time.
3. Post to Facebook – vitally important to keep your public profile visible – even if you just post piccys of the tea and biscuits you are about to consume.
4. Research – Read about how famous authors struggled to find publishers/readers and how they wrote at 4 am every morning even Christmas Day and even with blood spurting from potentially fatal wounds.
5. Write and post your blogs
6. Research different blogs on line and comment on the posts in the hope someone will notice you.
7. Re-organise your desktop – vital to ensure that you can never find the revised version of the opening chapter of your debt novel.
8. Look for blog photos online – difficult to find photographs such as girl in red hat and high heels standing on top of Everest are superb fodder for procrastination.
9. Catch up on Twitter/Pinterest etc.
10. Wonder if the tight waistband of your joggers is cutting off the thought supply to your brain and change, half a dozen times as nothing fits any more.
11. Research ways to spend a million – for when your advance finally comes through
12. Research photographers, hair styles, clothes, settings for your book cover head shot.
13. Research settings and character names for at least five of your next books – that will be written sometime during the next century
14. Browse online for famous rejection letters and authors who have made it big after being rejected 1000 times
15. Research agents and publishers for your book – as yet unwritten
16. Tidy your children’s bedrooms – only recommended if truly desperate
17. Cook batches of food to freeze so that you don’t have to waste time cooking
18. Research actors to star in the film version of your novel
19. Clean the house
20. Polish windows inside and out – again only for the truly desperate.
21. Visit that awful neighbour in hospital – usually takes up at least half a day by the time you have caught the bus into town and found the ward she is in.
22. Make more coffee
23. Clean all cups, spoons and the kettle
24. Check all of the lottery tickets you can find in the depths of pockets, bags etc to see if you have won.
25. Check out online exerts of novels by your favourite authors to compare yours with – usually unfavourably
26. Telephone/skype/write to those friends you haven’t seen since school. Great research delving into their lives.
27. Work out pen names for when you write in different genres
28. Eat lunch
29. Design book cover – learning how to use the necessary software could take up at least a week
30. Clean computer keyboard, those biscuit crumbs lodge in between the keys and cause chaos.
31. Read through all of the local newspapers and Sunday supplements – for research purposes
32. Mow the lawn
33. Create folders and print off all of the plot twists and early chapters of each of your books. Hard copies are vital
34. Take ink cartridges to get refilled
35. Write a blog post on procrastination techniques.
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