I have wanted to be a writer since I was 12. I got an A+ for a story in school, and then wrote more in my own time. At 18, I used my Care-Leaving Grant (a small endowment for leaving State Care) on an old green-screen Amstrad wordprocessor. I could have wished for a drafty garret to write in, maybe a life-threatening addiction or illness – but it was a start.
I wrote three books on that creaky old thing. I instinctively knew they were bad, so I decided to stop – to wait for that mystical experience to inform and better my writing.
In the intervening time, the world change beyond recognition.
Twenty years, three kids, and plenty of experiences later, I am in a place to write, and far better than I ever could have at 18. Yet, now that publishing is a button, I find that I spend more time reading about the indie community than I spend writing.
I instinctively dive for my Feeds first, follow the pundits, heed the experts. I laugh at the meltdowns and grit my teeth at the epublishing successes. I nod at the importance of covers and editors, mull over the marketing tools, consider my platform. I listen to the podcasts, follow the blogs, comment, review, repost, retweet, like, pinit and diggit.
I could be on my computer for two hours after the blessed little gits have gone to bed, and my time is finally my own. But I haven’t written a thing.
Despite the danger that this post could turn into a navel-gazing guilt-fest – there is a valid point … (at the risk of contradicting an earlier post) All this distraction is as addictive as a soap opera. Yes, I want to know what happens with the DOJ vs. Apple, or Google’s s.n.a.f.u. concerning book scanning, but it’s essentially as important as who went to the second round in X factor.
It’s time I could better spend writing.
I hated the old Amstrad. I had to load the operating program every time. The disks stored about 5,000 words each. The printer sounded like a small earthquake. But it wasn’t online. There were no distractions. And I wrote a darn sight more.
So what’s stopping you?