I’ve done it and so have you. It’s hard not to. The temptation is just too great. I’m talking about using your computer to procrastinate instead of getting your writing or other work done.
We live in a technological world today. Distractions are everywhere. First, there was the TV, the radio and the telephone. But now, we’re completely “wired.” We’ve got blackberries, cell phones, and the internet. And, even if you unplug the phone, and turn off the tv, radio, cell phone and blackberry, as an author you very likely won’t escape the clutches of the internet.
Where Did That Hour And A Half Go?
It begins innocently enough. You sit down at your scheduled writing time (you are scheduling your writing time – aren’t you?) and decide that before you start writing you’ll take a quick look at your email. Next thing you know you’re answering email instead of writing. Then, you click on a link that you received in an email and now you’re on the internet. One link leads to another and then another. Now you’re reading articles that interest you, or browsing websites. And then, suddenly, you remember that you’re supposed to be writing. You look at the clock. How could an hour and half go by so quickly? It seems you just sat down to write, and now your writing time is nearly over and you haven’t written a single word!
When this scenario repeats itself day after day, your plans and ideas for your booklet stop cold. You’re not moving forward toward your goals.
But Wait! It Gets Worse!
It’s bad enough when your time is sucked away by the internet at the start of your booklet’s creation, before you’ve written anything. This keeps your project from ever getting started. But, it’s almost worse when it happens and you’re in the middle of your booklet’s creation. You’ve got your manuscript partially done. And up until now the momentum on your project, and your excitement for completing it, has been absolutely stellar. You’ve been feeling good about your booklet and happy with the progress you’ve been making. And then, all of a sudden, it happens. You get sucked into the internet and start losing time, and your work on your booklet stalls.
Why is this worse than not starting your booklet in the first place? Because the momentum you’ve had up until this point has been interrupted, and once that happens it’s difficult to get it back. It’s like being in a deep conversation with someone and having someone else interrupt you. It’s difficult to get back on track in the conversation once you’ve been interrupted. Writing your booklet is the same way.
As you create your booklet, you build momentum. You begin to see your dream unfolding before your eyes, and your imagination suddenly brings all kinds of good things to your mind – things that will happen for you as a result of having your booklet finished and on the market. The things that come to your imagination excite you and they become your goals. But, all of this is wiped away when your writing time is interrupted. When you do get back on track, you will have to begin building up the momentum all over again. And, if you haven’t written anything in over a week, you’ll be hard pressed to get your momentum back at all.
How To Control The Beast
As an author, you need your computer. There’s really no getting around it. You need a good word processor for writing, and you need the internet for research and marketing purposes. So, how can you control your time so that you don’t squander it away? Set a goal and stick to it. Determine that you will write a specific number of words or pages before you even look at anything else, and allow what you write to be imperfect.
Writing perfectly isn’t the goal. Writing is the goal. You can go back over what you’ve written after it’s done and make changes, but if you don’t get the writing done you’ll have nothing to change.
You must make your writing your first priority. If you do, you’ll always get it done. This means that under no circumstances will you put anything else, other than a dire emergency, above your writing. You will get your writing done first.
The only way to control the beast of the internet is simply not to give into it. If you need to, disconnect your internet connection so that you won’t even be tempted to get online until your writing is done. Or, if that won’t work for you, write your manuscript with a pencil and paper offline. It may seem archaic, but it’s better to do that than not to finish your manuscript at all.
If you truly want the riches, you’ve got to get the writing done. Make it your first priority, and you’ll soon have money coming in from your booklet’s sales!
To your riches!
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