Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Good vs. the Essential

The essential thing I do, every day (maybe six days a week, maybe seven), is write.  I write original pages, and I write revisions of existing pages.  That is the core and necessary part of what I do.

I do a lot of other stuff in my quest, as Indiana Jones would have it, for fortune and glory.  I network.  I read and comment on stuff by the Story Monkeys.  I read and comment on stuff by other writers.  I write query letters.  I talk to my agent about revisions, or about how it's going with publishers.  I read the Publisher's Market daily deal e-mail for a market update.  I go to bookstores and browse the shelves.  I read in my target audience.  I read David Farland's Daily Kick, and the blogs of other writers.  I write this blog.  I attend conventions.  Those are all good things.

But no amount of writing this blog or reading the daily deals will generate a book.  All that stuff is good and important, but unless I do the essential thing -- write -- it's pointless.

So I don't ever let myself off the hook by saying "I didn't write today, but I did put together a query letter," or "I didn't write today, but I did some good market research."  That way lies frustration, barrenness and the death of writing.

Don't you do it, either.

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