If you're like me...
You remember that you never RSVP'd to your friend's book launch, so you log onto Facebook to search for the invitation and you see that another friend finally gave birth to her long overdue baby. You congratulate her. Then you notice that a third friend has posted a fascinating article about orcas and having just watched Blackfish, you can't help but click the link. Oddly, you recognize the name of the author of the orca article, so you click on that, which takes you to the author's blog and you see that oh, yes! She is the next door neighbor of a boy who goes to kindergarten with your daughter. You met at a bounce house party. You see that she has a new book coming out, one about...kindergartners! So you click the link and pre-order a copy from Amazon, which suggests that you also read this other parenting book you've been meaning to check out for months, but wait...shouldn't you be supporting independent bookstores? And you have a gift card for Powell's Books. So you search "Powells" and Colin Powell pops up too and you see that it's his birthday and that he...what a coincidence...was born on the same day as your father! Which means that...oh crap...today is Dad's birthday, so you go to his Facebook page to post a message on his wall and...Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Weren't you supposed to do something here? Something to do with a party, an invitation...but for what? A birthday party? A kindergarten class event? You can't remember, so you log off. Then you click on your Google calendar and realize that your friend's book launch party is this Friday and you haven't yet RSVP'd.
It's easy to get lost on social media—whether it's on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or blogs. It can take over your life, leaving you with time to do little else besides eat, sleep, and pay the bills. Definitely no time to write. But that's okay because no one cares if you write. No one's going to be disappointed if you don't finish that chapter of your novel by this weekend. Right? WRONG! I care! And you should care, too! Forget about everyone else. You and I—we're all that matters. But how do you shut out all the noise and hunker down to write?
If you've read any personal finance books, you've probably heard the phrase "pay yourself first." The idea is that if you pay all your bills first, there will never be anything left to save—because your spending will always increase to meet your income. But if you "pay yourself first," put some money in savings BEFORE you pay your bills, then you will be forced to make ends meet AND you will save money.
The same goes for writing
DO NOT wait until you catch up on blogging and Twitter and cleaning your closets and making enough money to take that vacation to Hawaii before you sit down to write. Forget Hawaii. Ignore the closets. Write FIRST. Then, if you have any time left over, eat, sleep, mop the the floor, maybe pay a bill or two.
Because *I* care, and you should too!
Now here's a question: What are some things you tend to do before you sit down to write that could wait until after you finish that chapter?
MEGHAN WARD is the author of Runway: Confessions of a Not-So-Supermodel. Her work has been published in Mutha Magazine, 7x7 magazine, San Francisco magazine, and many more. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Writerland.com.