Here is my list of top 10 ways writes waste time and the fixes for it. This is what I have seen other writers and myself waste our time. Let's try to avoid then.
1. The Unlimited Excuses
I am too tried to write.
I don't have the time to write.
I need to finish cleaning before I write.
My kids need my help before I write.
Does any of these or the unlimited amount of excuses sound familiar? You do not have time to screw around. You need to write. You can do it. If you don't agree with me, Dolly Parton has sung the song, "You can do it." Check it out.
THE FIX: Make the time. Schedule a certain time every week or every day. Get your writing time in. Make sure everyone knows this is your writing time. I write every November. If my family leaves me alone, I will cook something for Thanksgiving. If they don't, they not getting their deviled eggs, aka rotten eggs (my family calls it this after my son made the mistake). Guess what? Every year they get rotten eggs. Fight for your time to write. I get all of a sudden my kid has something and it is during my writing time. Well I will do that, but guess what is happening the next day or so? I will be writing during that time. I moved that time to a new date.
2. The Research Rabbit Hole
You search for some answer and then you get stuck in a massive time suck. Before you realize it you've spent too much time on finding an answer. And you might not have even gotten the answer you needed.
THE FIX: Research just what you need. Get the answer and get back to writing or editing. I've been stuck before and realized my friend knew the answer. I messaged them. They answered me and I got an answer instead of wasting my time. Use your friends. I hate asking people for anything, but good people, your friends, want to help. Other authors want to help. We have an amazing community.
3. The Social Media Time Suck
Let's be honest. We all do this. You're looking at one of the many interesting videos and then flip to the next before you realize it 30 minutes or more has gone by.
THE FIX: Get your goals done and then enjoy your social media time. I reward myself. Or I yell at myself and tell myself to get it done.
4. Proofreading or Editing Your Unfinished Manuscript
Before you start writing for the day, you read over your manuscript and edit it before you can begin writing. Can you see how much time you waste if you do this EVERY TIME?
THE FIX: Limit how much you edit. I do the previous chapter at the most and that is it. You do you. Look over a scene. Look over a chapter. Look over a few paragraphs or etc. Don't edit the whole book. You'll be doing an edit once you finish your book. Trust yourself. Your future self will edit your book just fine.
5. The New Story Idea
You chase after a new story idea, and you write it. The story you have left for the new one is over half way done. You have another new story idea and you repeat. Do you see the problem here? Before you know it, you'll have over 5 stories started and never finished.
THE FIX: Limit it. I write the scene or chapter and that is it. I get it out of my head and get my fix. You do you. But unless you convince yourself to finish a story, you won't. I will admit I have 8 stories ready to be written, wanting to be written. I have written on them, but I am not allowed to write any of them until I get another book done.
6. The Feedback Dilemma
Before your work is finished, you hand it out. You change your work based on that feedback. You let people read it again and then you change and edit again. Like #4 you keep on editing, but you change YOUR work based on someone else's opinion.
THE FIX: Don't send it out. Don't get so much feedback. This is YOUR story. You write it. You can ask for opinions if you have questions. I've done that. I liked my character but wanted to know what other people thought. They let me know he wasn't kind like I wanted him to be, and I changed one small thing. He's kinder now. That was a few chapters. Not the whole book. I have a rule of 10. If 10 people or more are saying the same thing, I should change that. I also have a few trusted authors I change for too. It has to be serious before they ever mention anything to me.
7. The Change Over
You change your book over and over based on an editor, a publisher, or etc. opinion. This is a bit different then #6 because it's people in the industry who you should trust. People you should take their opinions over. Should you though?
THE FIX: You need to ask yourself, do you regret the change? If you do, don't do it. I rather be happy and be this unknown author then hate the story I wrote. You have to do you though.
8. Researching How to Write
Why are you researching how to write? You write by doing it. All the research will not get you to write.
THE FIX: Writing can be simplified. You need to write an interest beginning, keep people engaged, you need an almost ending, and then an ending. You have those four things and you are good. I'm not into the story arc with the bell curve. I want to keep people flipping the pages to read what happens next. I will take or watch something to improve. That is different. Improving is always a good thing. And I limit that too.
9. The Green Envy
Your writing friend or someone (you do or don't know) on twitter, tik tok, or any of those social media platforms sold a lot of books, got a lot of page reads, got an agent, or etc. You feel like you should never write again and you will never make it.
THE FIX: Be happy for them. Don't compare yourself. Your writing journey will be different. You write different then them. Unless you are #CopyPasteCris. Don't be that person. I believe everyone will get there. Readers read a lot of different books. There is a spot for everyone.
10. Creating a Book Cover
Why are you making a book cover and book isn't done? Your story can changed. Why have something that you may not use? Why waste time?
THE FIX: Don't do it.
I want to see so I do it. I am hoping to stop.