Thirty Ways to Avoid Writing the First Draft

It has been bandied about casually, my desire to write a book. The first one I seriously started,  lost steam for a bit and then the laptop died along with 7k+ words.

Redundant backup, people. It's not just for the blog.

I've been slowly typing out the words to my next novel. And when I say slow, I mean I am only 3,302 at this very moment. Of course, it would have been closer to 4,000 had I not accidentally closed the document before hitting the confirm button on a dialog box. I might also add I've only been working on it for the last five or six months.

Apparently, I still haven't learned my lesson.

At any rate, I have a good friend that has ACTUALLY finished an entire novel and is in the query process. And being that I have read the book, I don't anticipate her wait for that acceptance call to be long.

She and I were giving each other pep talks recently and she laughed when I told her all the reasons I shouldn't be writing a book. She also went on to say that I am making up excuses and procrastinating, which prompted  this blog post.

May I present:  30 Ways To Avoid Writing the First Draft 
alternatively titled, "What I May or May Not Have Been Doing Instead"

1. Write a blog post
2. Clean the bathrooms. Again.
3. Look up people from high school using Google.
4. Refresh the open Facebook tab  for new notifications.
5. Write witty status updates on the progress of your novel.
6. Clean out the spam folder of your email.
7. Clip and organize coupons.
8. Check for new moves on Words With Friends . {my user id is coolandhip}
9. Read books on how to write books.
10. Write short stories for contests.
11. Read Writer's Digest from cover to cover. Multiple times.
12. Nap.
13. Watch old episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" on Lifetime.
14. Be very active in an Facegroup or forum that ISN'T geared towards writing.
15. Take up crochet.
16. Teach yourself to knit.
17. Organize your clothes closet by type, fabric, and hue.
18. Rearrange a room in your house.
19. Google yourself.
20. Commit to everything.
21. Keep up with your Twitter stream and actively engage.
22. Edit the first paragraph of the first chapter until it is perfect.
23. Google authors that have their first books published.
24. Read on how to effectively complete the C25K challenge.
25. Read the latest new release in your favorite genre.
26. Do price comparisons. On anything.
27. Steam clean the carpet.
28. Try new recipes.
29. Get a full night's sleep. Every night.
30. Tell yourself that you are wasting your time.


Jen Ballard said...

Brilliant - and familiar. I am currently blogging and checking in on facebook instead of doing revisions on my novel. Maybe I should try something less common like teaching myself to knit while rearraging furniture in the overly clean bathroom.

Karen Aldridge said...

These are awesome, Heather. Love them. I have 31-33:

31.Spend half the day researching this new Pinterest website everyone is talking about.
32. Spend the rest of the day trying to find someone to send you an invitation to join Pinterest.
33. Spend the next day creating your Pinterest boards and pinning stuff about writing to them.

Because the more social sites a writer is addicted to, the better their chances of making writing contacts, right?

Heather said...

You are right. Because not only am I on pinterest, I am on twitter (actually not a bad thing--talked to Beth Hoffman the other night), you-don't-want-to-know how many FB groups, google+LinkedIn, and some Foursquare, and the list goes on. 


Heather said...

Um. When I sat down today, after cleaning my entire downstairs, my intent was to work on said book. Instead I've wrote this post, another for tomorrow, checked email, played on twitter, commented in our group and another....words written in novel today: zero

Shana said...

I am not writing a book nor do I plan to anytime soon but I love this list. I am a procrastinator and it's a special art form at times. Watching How I met your mother is one of my favorite  ways of procrastinating ;) and of course playing w.w.f. which btw sending you game request as I type this

Jessica Rosenberg said...

Seriously? Do we share a brain? Also, I'm waiting for your move on Hanging with Friends.
that friend with the finished novel.
PS. I think I need to write the 30 ways to avoid querying list....

Heather said...

Dear Friend with the finished novel:
I wrote this late at night and wasn't sure if you wanted to be called out. I meant to ask you about it and fix it the next day, but something shiny distracted me, and I forgot.That could be a whole post in of itself. (Why yes, I did use a phrase that is considered dead. But I like it.) 

Signed, Your friend that can't wait for you to be published. 

Heather said...

I love me some WWF. It is a major distraction for me. Now I have found Hanging With Friends. It is even more awesome. If you play it, I am coolandhip. ;) 

Lori Helms said...

Love this post! It is SO true!!

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