Monday, March 12, 2012

Powering Down

"I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. I've got whosits and whatits galore.  You want thingamabobs, I've got twenty. But who cares? No big deal. I want more..."  Disney's The Little Mermaid.   *Lyrics used w/out permission.  Not claiming these lyrics as my own. Fair Use.

Pardon me while I shake off the sand out of my gills. 

It is one of the great paradoxes. The more time-saving devices you have, the less time you actually seem to save, and that, ladies and gents, leads me to my Uber-challenge. One of the constant excuses I hear is that writers who want to write can't find time to write.  I say "Bah!" to you.  This is a crock of stinking brown stuff, and you know it.    In order to wean yourselves from your technological crutches, I am challenging all of you to turn off your tech.  Use your phones as phones.  Turn off the TV.  Limit yourself to 20 minutes of daily interweb (at home) time to check emails and visit your essential sites.  Try it for one day.  Then, if you haven't gone into complete withdrawal, try it for the next day and so on. Baby steps, folks, baby steps.

I'm not saying you should write all the time.  Life happens. Your family needs you. Your boss would probably be grouchy if you spent your all of your cubicle time working on that Great American Novel instead of, you know, the job you're getting paid to do.  And I'm the last one to dismiss the necessity of down time. BUT when you do have the time to write, are you writing? No.  You are doing anything else but.  You're playing Words with Friends.  You're watching television.  You putter. You fuss.  You pick this up, you put that down. But you're not writing.  You are stalling.  It is important to remember that procrastination isn't an art. It's a con job.  The more you buy into procrastinating, the less actual writing you'll get done.

But allow me to stretch my mer-metaphor to its limits here.  It's time to get downright primitive, folks, and go back to the fertile seas that gave birth to our fevered brains.  It's a safe bet that all of us spend far too much time wrapped up in other people's stories, and not enough time on our own.  Reading is great. Researching is fabulous.  Yet, if it's quality time with a pen and paper you need, well, golly gee, shut everything off and get to work.  If you can keep making excuses about why you can't write, then face it, writing isn't that important to you. 

There are thousands and thousands of books out there that will tell you all of these mystical secrets for writing, but the true key to writing boils down to three very simple steps that anyone can do.

1) Get your butt in a chair.

2) Write something.

3) NOW!

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