10 Ways to Waste Time Instead of Writing


Want to be a writer, but don’t actually want to write words? Here are some great ways to waste time while complaining that you don’t actually have time to write.

Here are 10 ways to waste time instead of writing:

1. Social media

Any of them! There are so many rabbit holes to disappear into. Want to be enraged about politics? There’s something for that! Cute cat videos more your style? They’re everywhere! Want to voyeuristically spy on everyone you know and read vague statuses about people who are upset about things but don’t actually want to tell anyone what they’re talking about? Oh boy, does social media have those!

2. Play games

My personal favorites are Words With Friends, Soda Crush, and Cribbage. But don’t worry, if those aren’t your style, there are plenty more where those came from.

3. Read

This one hurts me to call “wasting time,” but when it cuts into designated writing time, I think it counts. Bonus points if you pretend it’s research because you’re reading in your genre, or outside your genre, or something with a vague relation to something you’re writing about.

4. Watch TV

After all, you thought about typing four words. Your brain needs to rest now. And maybe that rerun of Jersey Shore will spark creativity.

5. Talk about all the stories you want to write instead of actually writing them

Loudly inform everyone you see that you’re a writer, and tell them every detail of the plot you haven’t actually written yet. Bonus points if their eyes glaze over. Double bonus points for drool.

6. Do all the chores that desperately need to be done RIGHT NOW

Dishes that have been in the sink for 12 hours really can’t wait any longer while you write for an hour. That laundry that’s been there since the weekend isn’t going to fold itself. Do all those leftover chores immediately, then look at the time mournfully and realize that you were once again, too busy to write.

7. Stop writing and do something else if it seems difficult.

All successful writers write in a cloud of rainbow sparkles as the words effortlessly flow from their fingertips. If it feels like work, that means today isn’t the magical writing day. Maybe tomorrow.

8. Look for lots of encouraging quotes and memes on writing

Find the perfect bit of encouragement before you can start. This will mean reading approximately 8,362 web pages, and oops! Writing time is gone today. Too bad you’ll need a different encouragement tomorrow.

9. If it’s not perfect, don’t even write put it on paper

Writing crap isn’t a learning experience that counts toward your 10,000 hours until you’re an expert. Only writing perfect words counts. So what if you only write 6 words a week? You’ll get to that expert level in 30 or 40 years.

10. Obsess over any and all criticism (but don’t learn from it!)

Criticism means you suck. You’ll never write anything worthwhile. You should be better than this by now. Read it over and over again until your self-esteem is shot and you couldn’t write a sentence if you tried. But whatever you do, don’t try to find ways to improve. That would lead to productivity.

What ways do you waste time instead of writing?

Z is for Zaftig, Zen, and Zee End!

Isn’t zaftig such a great word?  I’m proud of my zaftig figure, and with all the posts about weight issues and insecurity earlier this month, I thought it was a fitting word, though I can’t write an entire post about it.

I like to think of myself as continually striving toward a zen attitude.  There are so many things that we cannot change, and we can choose to stress about them, or not.  I’m not saying it’s an easy choice… it’s often not.  But if I can’t change it, why stress about it?

I try not to waste time.  I have bad days, bad attitudes, but mostly I try to stay focused on today and tomorrow.  I look at the past only to learn from it or to get enjoyment out of it.  Those things in the past that cause me pain, I *try* to forget.  I try.  I know I’m not perfect, and I’m okay with it.

This A to Z blogging experience taught me a number of things.  First, I can blog every day if I choose to.  Before this, I missed more days than I wanted to.  Now I know that it’s just laziness if I miss a day.  Posting something isn’t that hard, and I had more ideas than I knew what to do with during the A to Z challenge.

Second thing I learned: there are a ton of great blogs out there.  Some of my favorites:

Cynthia Dwyer–  Too much funniness in one place.

Darlene Steelman– She’s witty, she’s thoughtful.  Go here for your daily dose of something interesting.

Charmaine Clancy– Murder, mayhem, mystery, and young adult novels… need I say more?

SquareToothedGirl– Read her blog and she’ll teach you the signs of everything from a yoga addict to bedtime.  It’s funny and informative.  Plus, she posts disturbing pictures of yoga positions.  Enjoy!

Random Rants– This site really is random rants, but if you’re a certain kind of person, you’ll enjoy them.

This has been a great month.  Thanks to all who’ve participated, who’ve read my blog and others.  I’m interested to see what I can come up with next month!