Friday, January 08, 2010

Just Write--What not to do when you should be writing.

The average writer encounters at least a thousand distractions during the writing day that takes us away from our masterpiece. While working on a workshop presentation for an upcoming writers' conference, I came across this list of things to avoid to keep from writing.

Always fun and inspiring, I thought I would share it here with you.

Do not check your email. Do not log in to your favorite writers’ group to see what everyone’s up to. Do not turn on the TV and tell yourself its research. Do not wash the dishes. Do not reorganize your computer files. Do not take out the trash. Do not Google your exes. Do not Google yourself. Do not take a nap—I fight this temptation every afternoon. Do not change the cat litter. Do not hang out the laundry. Do not file your nails. Do not answer the phone. Do not pay your bills. Do not balance your checkbook. Do not yell at your husband because he didn’t record the last five transactions. Do not start to think you don’t actually have what it takes to write a book. Do not edit your ideas before you even write them down. Do not start a to-do list. Do not start wondering if that mole is bigger than the last time you looked at it. Do not start thinking of all the loose ends you need to fix before you finish your book. Do not start perusing your own bookshelves for inspiration. Do not organize all the magazines you subscribe to but never read. Do not start thinking about what to fix for dinner. Do not look up the number for the local delivery place because you probably won’t have time to cook dinner since you’re having such an awesome writing day. Do not start worrying about all the time you’ve already wasted. Do not come up with 20 more Do-Not’s to add to this list.

Enough distractions. Get back to work. And if you happen to be in the Middletown/Dayton, Ohio area on February 27th, I'd love to see you at my workshop. Times and details will follow.


  1. Hey, wait a second. Were you spying on me yesterday? And the day before that? And, uhm, the day before that? LOVE this post!

  2. hehehe...I especially like the last one...I was about to start adding to the list!

  3. That's why I added the last one. I could've sat here all day and added more and more.

  4. Ummm ... I think you and I are on the same wavelength, Teresa. lol Check out my article, "A Dozen Ways to Put Off Writing a Novel."

  5. Delia, send a link to my email.