December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
I do a LOT of things each day that don't contribute to my writing directly. I watch tv. I spend too much time on the internet. I go to work, and waste time staring out my windows, when I could just as easily have Word open and be poking a few keys between tasks.
In the end, the only thing that directly contributes to writing is WRITING. You can have the best idea in the world for a story, and if you never sit down and actually WRITE it, it will remain an idea. But I don't believe that the only thing you can do to make your writing better is write. There's a huge world of experiences out there, things just waiting to spark ideas, and sometimes you have to take advantage of them.
And yes, okay, sometimes, you just need to sit in your living room and watch an episode of Terriers, and not feel guilty because you're depriving the world of your genius for a few minutes. Making yourself feel guilty over the words you didn't write is one of the surest ways I've found to further my avoidance techniques. Celebrate the words you do write, acknowledge that you must apply butt to seat to create more of them, and then get on with it.
Could I eliminate some of my Not Writing? Yes, and I've made active choices to do so. I record pretty much everything I want to watch now, and catch up on it when I have the time. I leave environments that don't work for me, when I'm trying to write. (I can write with music on, but I absolutely cannot concentrate with the tv on, even if it's not a show with a plot. HGTV is my writing kryptonite.) When I get to work in the morning, one of my routine tasks is to open the file for whatever story I'm working on, so that it's glaring at me from the taskbar and reminding me that I could just pop it open for a second or two.
I spend a lot of time Not Writing. What I'm getting better about is not feeling so guilty about "wasting" that time that I sabotage the time I DO spend writing.