Monthly Archives: March 2014

Writing must come first

I’m the sort of person who likes to get any jobs I have to do out of the way before moving on to something more enjoyable.

The trouble is, jobs like vacuuming and putting up a shelf often expand to fill the available time. There’s always something else to do.

Writing is a discipline. You can’t let it slide. So I sit down and write first, and leave a fixed window of time to do everything else afterwards. The mundane jobs still get done, and so does the writing.

It’s the same with hobbies. If I start doing something else before writing, the writing invariably doesn’t get done. If I write first then I can relax and enjoy being hobby-tastic without the writing-monkey clinging to my back.

The good thing is, the more of a writing routine you get into, the easier it is to slip into a session. Sometimes the 1000 words comes out quicker too (but don’t bank on it).

Being on Twitter won’t get you published

I started a new Twitter account a year ago just to use for writing. To make friends and contacts, and to keep in touch with people I met at cons. Also to follow agents, editors and fellow writers with interesting and useful things to say.

The problem with Twitter is that it gives the false impression that you are a peer of those you follow. That’s one of its allures. When you follow Stephen Fry or Wossy, it’s pretty much the same experience as following your best mate, Dave. Except Stephen Fry and Wossy never favourite or retweet you.

And that’s the difference.

It’s the same in writing. I get a warm glow from being part of the Twitter writing community. I even get favourited and retweeted occasionally by writers I like and respect. But that doesn’t make me their peer, although it can feel like it. Only writing will do that. Learning the craft and putting stuff out there. Sighing at rejection after rejection and pushing on regardless.

Writing is about the work. You can tweet published writers all day long, but that doesn’t make you a published writer. Only writing will do that, and it’s bloody hard work.

Having said that, Twitter gives us access to the industry in a way we could only dream of ten years ago.

Just maintain your perspective.