Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to Stop Piddling

Every so often I get an email from a reader who's just discovered I teach full time, which means my writing is relegated to evenings and holidays. Seeing what I have out, what's soon to come out, and what's in the works, at some point I get asked, "How are you able to write so much?"

Well, my momma had a word for it. Piddling. It's that time you waste sitting at the desk, staring at the computer monitor, and wondering where to take your story. Many author friends I know tend to go to their email loops. Some blog. Others get on the phone and call up their author friends or family. But most stay online and on the internet looking for something to catch their eye.

Bottom line, it's wasted time.

When I get to those moments where I need to write myself out of corner, or find a bridge from one plot dilemma to the next, I do one of the following. In short, I GET AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD. Take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and I can come back refreshed, or with a new idea in mind.
These are a few of my solutions, remember. They might not work for you, but you never know. And it's amazing what gets accomplished in the meantime!

* bag up 5 things from my closet or drawers I no longer can wear, and pop in the trunk to take to Goodwill
* check the calendar - is there someone you need to send a card to?
* empty or reload the dishwasher (add wash the dishes, too)
* put a load in the washer/dryer (add fold a load)
* take out the trash
* start to straighten/clean a room (done in stages, it works!)
* pay a bill
* make a grocery list/to do list
* let the dog out (or give it a bath)
* read the newspaper

Later I'll give a list of things I do WHILE ON THE COMPUTER that doesn't waste my time.

No comments: