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  • Effectiveness and Distraction: The “Shoulds” of Writing

    Posted on April 9th, 2012 jean 2 comments

    Damn all those “Shoulds.”

    You know the ones. All those new fangled, fabulous must-have tools that everyone is touting and claiming will instantly make you “better” at this, that, and the other thing.

    Sure, you “should” try Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Klout, Blogging, Goodreads, etc. I mean, if you aren’t on those how on earth are you going to sell your books when you get published?

    Did I just give you a case of heart palpitations with that last paragraph?

    Good.

    Now stop.

    Breathe.

    Think about it. There are a lot of tools us writers “should” use to reach and build our audience. Right? But really, can we do it all? No.

    Effectiveness.

    If we spread ourselves too thin it distracts us from what we should really be doing–writing. How are we going to improve our craft if we aren’t actually engaging in it?

    We need to follow our passion and joy–the very thing we hope will bring home the bacon. It’s that passion and joy for our work that engages our readers. If we aren’t pursuing that… then we are doing a disservice to both ourselves and to our audience.

    It’s a fact of life that we can’t be effective at everything. There simply isn’t enough time and energy. If Facebook is really working for you, then why force Twitter into your toolbox? Especially if you can’t make it work in an effective way for you. Every tool has it’s own job. If you need a screwdriver and never a hammer, then quite trying to use the hammer on your screws. It isn’t effective and simply distracts you from getting the real work done.

    Being Busy Doesn't Equal Being Effective

    Being busy doesn’t equal being effective.

    Personally, I’m still figuring out what is effective for me in terms of building a platform for It’s All Kid’s Play. But one thing I’m going to do is finish the research books I have on the go and get the new website revamping done and keep moving forward! Then I can sort through what is distracting me, thinning my time, and reducing my effectiveness.

    Tell me, what tools are distracting you? What “shoulds” are weighing heavy on you?