|Five is alive! (Source)|
One of those things should be writing, of course. We all know we should write every day. Another of those things should probably also be reading: how lucky are we that we're in a profession that forces us to read prolifically! Twist my arm, why don'tcha?
But the others are more flexible. Make a new connection on twitter. Read an article about writing on your favorite blog. Spend half an hour researching agents. Look for relevant pins to add to your character board on Pinterest. Have lunch with a fellow writer, to get those creative juices flowing. And so on, and so on.
|Wow. Those are some awesome snacks.|
The things you do will differ depending on where you are currently--if you already have an agent, researching agents doesn't make sense. If you've just had a book published, several of these things will probably involve book promotion. Just make sure to do five, every day.
Why is this so important?
Speaking for myself, I'm the sort of person who would happily crawl into a little cozy writing cave for six months and have no contact with the human race. My significant other would throw me scraps of food and come in for a cuddle now and then, but that would be it and I'd be happy as dust on a tchotchke.
|I heard you were dead...(Source)|
|I've heard of tiny living, but this is ridiculous...|
I would have also lost valuable time building my platform, something that's becoming increasingly important for aspiring writers. Blog readers and Twitter followers don't develop over night, and they don't take kindly to being neglected for long. At least the ones that involve actual people that you actually want to connect with. Just like a plant, you can't water them only once every six months and expect them to grow.
So try it out. Sometimes I'm not as good as other times at remembering to do all five--sometimes I only do a few, and sometimes I crap out altogether. So I've created a simple spreadsheet to jot down which things I did each day--this lets me know if I'm slacking off too much for too long, and reminds me to revisit things that I haven't touched for a while. You know how it is--'Gee, it seems like only a week since I compiled that list of prospective agents, but it's been a month! I better follow up on that.'
Thank you, Lawrence Block, for the amazing advice. So far, it has served me well, and I have every confidence it will continue to do so. Now where's my next installment of Matthew Scudder??