Unfortunately, it seems to me that the answer to this question is “what don’t I do each that doesn’t contribute to my writing?” Despite my best intentions, I never seem to find time for writing — something always gets in the way. In particular, I’d say that my two worst habits are too much time on social media and the obsessive hunt for the miracle tool that’s going to organize me and save me from myself.
Don’t get me wrong — I love my social media, but there are times when I’m definitely just wasting time on it as opposed to truly engaging with the folks in my personal and professional circles. I’m sure that cutting out that time would free up time that could be used for writing.
My other big time waster is my obsession with finding the right tool. Before the internet really took off, I used to troll the aisles of office supply stores, looking for the item(s) that would magically allow me to get organized enough to finish my dissertation. Oddly enough, I never did find that tool, but did finish the dissertation once I was able to finally take off enough time to truly focus on the writing. Now that the dissertation needs to be turned into a book manuscript, I find myself doing some virtual trolling. So I spend the Thanksgiving Break test-driving Scrivener and various reference managers instead of revising.
On to the big question — “can you eliminate it?” — I would like to think so, but given how long I’ve been doing this kind of thing, it will certainly be difficult. On the other hand, I do have a lot of willpower (I managed to quit smoking after all which is way harder than avoiding Facebook!). I am also hoping that participating in reverb10 will help me develop a daily writing habit that I can transfer to other projects come 2011. Here’s hoping!
Note: This is my second post for #reverb10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?”
[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user tonyhall.]