In my previous blog I offered five ways you can concentrate on your writing, without any outside interference. Here are five more.
6. Stop Googling! – that means everything from politics to porn (and those topics often intersect). Sure, it’s a fun way to pass the time, and you might even come across a source of creative inspiration, if only accident. But most likely several hours will pass before you realize it, and you will have nothing to show for it. No work, anyway. Just a checkered and potentially embarrassing search engine history you will need to delete before going to bed, empty-handed and mentally drained. At least.
7. Stop reading – yes, reading the work of other authors can be inspirational. To a point. And then it gets depressing, especially if they’re really good, and you already have a shaky sense of confidence in your own work. The last thing you want to do is compare your unwritten words to those that are already in print and out there in the world. If you want yours to join them, you need to just relax, be yourself, and start typing, which may eventually lead to writing something worth publishing. That’s how they all got started, even the great ones. Those stories didn’t write themselves by magic, and nobody, not even a literary genius, got to skip the hard parts of the process and bound over the finish line, a born winner. Only born losers think that way.
8. Don’t listen to that inner naysayer – sometimes the harshest critic of any author is the one in the mirror. That jerk can also be the most unfair and cruel, not to mention just plain wrong. So totally ignore him or her. What do they know? Basically, this is just another subconscious roadblock. Telling yourself your work sucks is just another way of ignoring your own potential in favor of unproductive negativity. Let others be the judge. But first you need to provide them something worth reading.
9. Stop worrying, your computer works just fine – uh oh, your internet seems to be running slower than usual. (What are you doing online anyway?) Hey, is there something wrong with Word? It doesn’t seem to be saving correctly, so what’s the point of trying? Is your work even worth saving? (See immediately previous bit of advice.) No. You do not have to stop writing due to imaginary, paranoid “technical difficulties.” This is not your job. You’re not a computer technician. Well, maybe you are, in which case you can skip this suggestion anyway, because you already know the difference between being a creative hypochondriac and a procrastinator. In this case, there is none.
10. Stop reading blogs about writing, and just write – of course I saved this one for last.
So now what are you waiting for? We’re done here (for now). Sorry. No more excuses. Write.