Updated: Jun 10, 2018
You probably think this is going to be one of those motivational, kick-in-the-butt posts with a little shaming thrown in.
I wholeheartedly believe that if you are going to do something-including frittering-you should do it well. What's the point of breaking your diet by shoving an ugly cookie in your mouth? If you're going to break the caloric index, get a container of Talenti sea salt caramel gelato.
I shudder when I hear stories of writers on deadline who do things like clean the toilet bowl or repaint the guest room. Standards, people. Standards.
If you're going to fritter, then by all that is holy, distracting, entertaining and makes your feet happy-dance, do it well.
Without further ado, my top ten ways to fritter away writing hours.
1. First, the obvious. The weapons of mass distraction. Thank you to Tracey Hagwood for her meme assistance. I'll only touch on a few today.
Youtube- The single most motivating video for writers ever to grace a Youtube video is, yes, you guessed it. SUSAN BOYLE!
Pinterest- I don't think of Pinterest as social media. It's like reading 200 magazines at once.
You can pin your heroes and heroines images. BORING! Or you can plan their wedding. From the monogrammed napkins to the five course dinner at the venue. It's like playing Barbie Dolls for grownups.
Facebook is low level frittering at best. Sure, it fritters your time just fine, but it's like going to the monster truck show. There really is no tangible value, except looking up guys you went to high school with who dumped you and now look like your father. Karma, baby!
As for Twitter...most users simply do not understand the product's analytics and instead utilize the app as though they were throwing spaghetti at the wall. Sometimes it sticks, but usually, it doesn't, leaving a slimy distasteful residue.
4. Author Central. This is like crack for writers. The site monitors print purchases and e-books and your stats. Hourly, weekly, rank over time. A handy tip to increase print sales rank: purchase twenty copies of your book. Easy peasy! Have them sent to your postal mailbox to avoid embarrassing questions about the boxes stacked in the living room. The geographical purchases map, such as below, applies to print purchases only. You can determine if your mother-in-law really is buying your book.
5. Check your reviews. Sure this seems like a no-brainer, but to get the real therapeutic value from this fritter you have to check all the reviews written by the BAD reviewers, thus convincing yourself (after four hours) that the reviewer has mental health issues. When you encounter a bad review, do not hit the 'not helpful' button. It only calls attention to the review.
6. Social Media Wars. Monitor your competition. Authors who write books like you. Compare Twitter, Facebook, Instagram followers. Steal followers. Yes, you read that correctly. Go in and friend, follow, and like their followers until they become your followers too. This goes hand-in-hand with posting LIVE Facebook videos daily to give readers a look into your life for the purpose of trolling for new followers. It helps if the videos are impromptu ones where you are dressed to the nines with your hair and makeup professionally done and utilizing a backdrop of a fabulous house. (Coordinate with your local Realtor to borrow a home for an hour or two for your very not-staged videos.)
8. Word Games. Because as writers and readers our highest aspiration should be to be a contestant on Jeopardy.
-Wordful. The Wordful App is available free in the iTunes Store and for Android on Google Play.
-Scrabble. Some of my favorite memories have been Myra Johnson pummeling me at online Scrabble.
8. Writing Productivity Tools. I personally have downloaded so many productivity tools in the last year, that I have given up sleep while I try to learn them.
9. Writers and readers must have sustenance. Take it to a new level with Goldbely. I promise you won't regret the time frittered. Do not drool on your keyboard.
10. Do nothing. That's right. Nothing. Pick the lint from your navel. Stare out the window. Turn your keyboard upside down and shake it. This fritter is recommended by 99.4% of all the writers surveyed.
The Art of Doing Nothing can be found here for those of you who have forgotten how.
10. Write. This may seem counter-intuitive, but give this last one a chance. Open a document and write something that the current market does not support, or that your editor, your agent, your Beta readers, your critique partners, and your cat do not want to see.
Write for yourself. Save the document and hide it in a folder marked Top Ten Best Cat Videos of All Time. If you share the computer with someone else you may need to really hide it.
Instructions for Windows:
Select the files or folders you want to hide.
Right-click and choose Properties.
Click the General tab.
Click the checkbox next to Hidden in the Attributes section.
These fritters have been tested by a team of expert fritterers and have the Good Frittering Seal of Approval. These fritters have been documented in The American Journal of Therapeutic Frittering. You can fritter with confidence when you follow my top ten.