Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quit Reading This Blog and Start Writing

You're about to read a blog post that tells you to quit reading and go away.

Look, I want more people to read Quick Writing Tips. Obviously. But what I don't want are readers who aren't writing. Or worse: readers who read blog posts about writing and consider that to be a sufficient substitute for writing.

Don't use the act of reading blog posts as a deferral and avoidance tactic. Don't spend time here or at other writing websites and give yourself the illusion that you're doing something to further your writing career.

That's no different from being a personal development junkie who goes to conferences and buys dozens of books on self-improvement--and doesn't improve. Or a person who buys a Soloflex machine and reads a bunch of diet books, but never gets around to losing weight.

How useful is it to take a writing class, tell everybody all about your class, earnestly finish all the writing assignments from that class... and then make absolutely no progress on your own long-term writing goals? Did that class really help you write?

I want my readers here to understand deeply that reading books about writing, reading blogs about writing, going to classes to learn how to write--none of these things is writing. If you're here to procrastinate, go away.

Quit reading this blog. Start writing.