Maybe I don’t “get” writers

I’m a writer.

I write.

Seems pretty simple, but I don’t seem to do any of the things that other writers do. I barely use Facebook, but when I do I see posts from a half-dozen writers groups that I joined at some point that instantly make me scratch my head.

Posts like, “What is your Main Character’s favorite past time?” “What kind of media do you think your villain likes?” “What kind of food did you put into your fantasy story?” “What would you think about a magic system that is based on the four foodgroups?” (I made that one up, but I see world-building threads just as odd).

I write fantasy novels, in case you are wondering.

“Writing Twitter” is probably worse. You get threads full of people saying random platitudes about writing and putting in #amwriting hashtags, or talking about random story ideas with #amquerying, or talking to agents about what kind of diversity representation will eventually “get them published.” It’s endless talk about writing.

I don’t do any of these things. I’m also aware that there is a thing called authortube, or booktube, or whatever, but I don’t interact with it and at this point I would probably find it just as annoying.

I realized that I do something very different from “writers”

I actually write books and publish them. I figured this out a few years ago: if you spend all your time online talking about your book, you’re probably not finishing your book. The online communities might have a draw to people who have an interest in writing, but they ultimately don’t help you finish writing a book.

Only YOU can finish your book. So if you are a new writer (I never say “amateur,” and if you follow me you will learn why), always make sure you are spending your time on what will actually net you results – WRITING. I’m aware of the odd hypocrisy – here I am talking about writing, but take heed!

There’s more to it than finishing your manuscript, but you can’t do anything in the macro process until you can at least finish drafting a book. You can budget time for social media, but otherwise, GET TO IT. Spend time doing, not talking about doing.

You can find out more about this in my new book on creative productivity, available now:


  1. “What is your MC in your WIP doing for Valentine’s Day?”


    This level of backstory is both overrated and unnecessary. It provides people who have been writing the same book for 15 years a false sense of accomplishment.

    No. Just sit down and write.

    • These are the cat ladies who call their books their children.
      Perhaps most of these middle-age afflictions would be avoided if people just… you know, had kids at some point.

  2. I think it’s mostly teenagers more enamored with CHARACTERS than with any kind of desire to complete a book or start on another. They’re fans of their books in the same way they’re fans of anime. They want to talk about the characters, compare notes, feel special.
    Just writing and completing and publishing? All that creativity and such is internal, and then there’s all that boring work. . . .

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