If you ever see dramatic changes happening to my website in the middle of the day, you can count on the fact that I am at a crossroads in my writing career. Too often in the middle of really big decisions or dramatic changes in direction, rather than spending time figuring out the big stuff, I spend way too much time redesigning my WordPress theme or recategorizing all my blog posts.
Seth Godin talked about this in a recent blog post called “Big Questions Before Little Ones.” “There are endless small details to get right before you have something that you’re truly proud of. No doubt about it,” he writes. “But there are frightening and huge holes in any bridge to the future, and until you figure out how to get across, I’m not sure it matters if you have a typo on page 4.”
Websites are just one place that writers can spend a lot of time on small things instead of big things at precisely the wrong time. Sometimes we work on the marketing plan before we’ve written the first word of a book. Other times we worry about commas when really we need a plot change. And then sometimes, we spend hours trying to find great markets for our essays and short stories and poems and never actually get around to writing the … essays and short stories and poems.
“Hiding takes many forms. Inappropriate attention to detail is a big one, because it feels like a responsible thing to do,” Godin writes.
Today, let’s all stop hiding from the real work of writing we know we should be doing. Let’s stop tinkering with our websites and worrying about our Facebook banners and dickering with all those commas. Let’s get out from behind these things that hold us back, and instead, let’s write.
Photo by Visual Supply Co. via Unsplash.