Author’s Advice Pt. 13

Don’t let writing consume your life.

So you’re writing, you have a great idea and you want to get the whole thing down while it’s fresh in your mind. It’s perfect and if you don’t write it down right now, you’ll lose it. I get it, I’ve been there. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking that moment to get that info down, but the problem with great ideas like your initial one is that they tend to branch.

Soon one awesome idea becomes 3 awesome ideas and then those also branch out into 4 or 5 of their own. The next thing you know, you’ve blown through several hours. Your partner is yelling at you because you haven’t done your chores or paid attention to them. You’ve neglected your responsibilities, even though you didn’t mean to.

It happens, and it’s a difficult habit to break. What’s even more difficult is learning to pull yourself away and say ‘enough is enough.’ I know it may seem like that one great idea is the be all, end all, and you’ll never think of anything that great again… but you will. The fact is that some of the best writing I’ve done is when I passed up seemingly great ideas and then came up with even better ones. Creative juices do not stop flowing. They may ebb, or even slow to a trickle, but they never stop. You’ll get that rush again, and before long, you’ll be steaming out another few chapters.

Remember, when in doubt, the book can wait. Your characters are fictional, off living their own lives, or dead (depending on fiction or non-fiction), so it doesn’t matter if you get everything down today or tomorrow. What does matter are the people right in front of you wanting to spend time with you. It may mean that you will take a lot longer to finish your book, but in the end it really is the better way.

Oh, and for those of you who will respond that your writing is your life…

PUT YOUR PEN OR COMPUTER DOWN, NOW!!! Put it down, go outside and go do something, anything else. Meet up with friends, go on a date, or if you have a family, take them out somewhere. Stay away from writing at least for a little while. You’ll be better off, believe me.

Thanks friends, catch you on the flip side,
Jim

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12 thoughts on “Author’s Advice Pt. 13

  1. dansandman says:

    Good advice Jim. I think we all need a break sometimes.

    Like

  2. raeanneroy says:

    Without a life, what do you have to write about?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great advice! I’ve started filling out a “Daily Writing Check In” every day where I track how much/what I wrote and how I felt about it. There’s also an “Idea Box” where I write down a new story idea most days. It’s a great exercise, but sometimes I look back on those ideas that burned so hot on a day when I didn’t get to fully explore them and I kinda roll my eyes. What seems like a great idea cools with time and I realize that every story concept that I ever come up with isn’t worth pursuing due to dead ends, lack of conflict, one dimensional characters, etc.

    By prioritizing family/friends over writing, it forces you to prioritize the time that you do spend writing and I think that guarantees better results!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ichibon says:

    Good advice.
    Thought to write for a while longer; in fact, this conversation took place yesterday in the realization of the time consumed at this machine, while she sits in another room . . . alone with the television.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    ichibon

    Like

  5. farreldee says:

    For me, over the last few years, it has usually been the other way around- not that I couldn’t stop writing, but that I couldn’t start for lack of time. I hope I reach the point where I need to remember to live outside the words!

    Like

  6. psychediver says:

    I write when I want. I’m just happy I’m so far able to bring this current project to some level of completion. I usually convince myself to not bother via procrastination and pessimism.

    Like

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