I think, as writers, we tend to procrastinate a lot. I mean, you only have to look at the forums on the NaNoWriMo website during November to find out just why so many people never make it to 50,000 words, don’t you? And on Twitter – well, there are a lot of tweets about writing. By people who were supposed to be working on their novels. By people who were not supposed to be on Twitter.
When I log onto my computer, the first website I open is usually Protagonize, the writer’s community. I don’t post there all that often any more, although I made a New Year’s Resolution to do more. Writer’s Block killed that. But I spend a lot of time talking to people, making connections, having friends …
The second website I open is WordPress. And I look through the ‘Freshly Pressed’ page, to see if there’s anything that interests me. There is very often a post about writing. For a while I thought this was really cool – there were other writers out there! They blogged! I could, like, read other people’s opinion on it!
And then I realised what it really meant. There were lots of other writers out there. They blogged. The other writers were my rivals – the other writers were also growing up and trying to get a sense of their style; growing up and dreaming of publication; growing up and working on their novels in school lunch hours; blogging about writing; tweeting about writing … I was not alone.
Which, face it, is a good thing most of the time. We all like to come home and have somebody to talk to, don’t we? We don’t want to be alone …
But when it’s competition,we’d rather be against five other people than fifty. Because we’ve got more of a chance of winning against those other five than those other fifty.
After a while, I stopped thinking about that, and thought, “Well, they want it just as much as me, so I’ll be nice about it. I mean, love your neighbour as yourself, right? I can’t be angry at them because they happen to have the same interests as me … that’s supposed to be a good thing.” Only it wasn’t as neat as that, since my brain isn’t organised. I don’t tend to think in sentences.
Instead, I thought, why are so many writers blogging about writing instead of actually writing? And yes, I count myself among these writers. I should be working right now. Not on my book, but on my schoolwork – on my art homework, which if past experience is anything to go by should keep me busy for at least four hours – because the half term holiday is drawing to a close. And when I’ve done that, and practised the violin, and the flute, and tidied my room enough to be able to see the floor and the bed, then I can work on my novel.
Instead I’m blogging about the fact I should be doing all of these things.
Many of my teachers, and my parents, would say that’s not a good thing. They think I’m organised, you know. It’s a joke. They have never seen my bookshelves. But I think by doing this, I’ll reach one other person who’s feeling the exact same way. Who stumbled across this on Twitter or something, and can empathise.
And perhaps we’ll start talking. And perhaps that friendship will last. And perhaps they’ll become the next person to badger me to stop procrastinating and get on with writing, the next person to read my first draft and give me comments, the next person to give me that vital encouragement. And then the procrastinating will have been worth it, because somebody will know who I am.
If you’d like to watch me procrastinate a bit more, please subscribe by pressing the button somewhere over there ->
As a new thing, just because it’s Saturday, I’m going to offer to you a few other blogs that I read. I don’t have many at the moment, on account of this being the first time I’ve done this. So far, I’ve subscribed to three blogs:
Gin & Lemonade – It was a post about writing that led me over to this blog, but she blogs about all sorts of things, from cooking to books.
The Hack Novelist – What do you think? Writing, of course. But it’s a good laugh. I like this blog ;)
Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Some invaluable advice … she also taught me how to use Twitter. Which was very helpful of her, so there we go.
Okay, so everybody whose blog I’ve ever subscribed to was originally Freshly Pressed (I think), but how else am I meant to find them? Feel free to share any other blogs with me in the comments.