There is an author I love, who shall remain unnamed in this post, who posted a piece of writing advice on her Goodreads page awhile back that, at least temporarily, made me question what I was doing with my life.
Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, maybe. The magnitude of questioning, not the piece of advice. To aspiring writers, she suggested, and I’m paraphrasing here, that instead of writing about all the books they wanted to write and about their writing progress, they should step away from their blogs and actually get some writing done.
For brand-new writers, or writers who are really struggling to focus and get things done, this is really good advice. But for someone like me, who has been writing for over half her life, it sort of threw me off.
Was I wasting valuable writing time by writing about writing?
At first, I started to think so. Most of the posts I write take around an hour, sometimes less, and I could very easily crank out 500 to 1,000 words of an article I’m getting paid to write, or a novel I’m hoping to get published, instead of spending it “with” you guys.
Yet I’m not sure this author’s advice really applies to me, in the sense that by blogging and connecting with other writers online, I’m actually gaining much more than I’m losing. I’m experienced and disciplined enough to balance it all, whereas a newer writer won’t be – not because they’re not good at what they do, but because they haven’t had years of practice fitting writing into the various hidden crevices of their daily lives.
I think it depends on the person. This is one of unfortunately many cases in which general writing advice is more harmful than it is helpful. I do my best to try and give you advice that you can either apply to your own writing life or pass on to someone who you think might benefit from it. It’s never going to apply to everyone, but generally, we do our best.
You have to do whatever keeps you moving forward when you’re trying to get a lot of writing done. Most days, writing blog posts gets me fired up to do the rest of my writing for the day. I don’t think I would have as much drive to write as much as I do without keeping up this blog. I enjoy it. I enjoy putting my thoughts out there, but more importantly, I enjoy the opportunity to hopefully, maybe, help another writer or two find their way.
It doesn’t feel like wasted time to me. Do you write about writing, via a blog or Facebook groups or other types of forums/websites/other mediums? Does it help you focus, or take away from your productivity as a writer?
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.
Image courtesy of Kalyan Chakravarthy/flickr.com.