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Going for the Full 3%

Uh oh. 

I think I’m in trouble.

Deep trouble.

I follow @Quotes4Writers on Twitter, and just read the following anonymous quote:

Being a writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet.

Damn.

Only 3% for talent? I am in trouble.

And that’s for the most talented writers out there. So I’m thinking I’m probably around 2%.

Okay, let’s stretch and say 2.3%. A bit overly generous, perhaps, but work with me here.

On the one hand I’ve got a measly 2.3% of talent. On the other I have 97% of internet distraction staring me down.

Now, I’m not one who spends all day playing games and taking quizzes on my computer. I know what a time-waster they can be.

My friends learned long ago not to send me invitations to participate in the latest and greatest on Facebook.

Farmville? Forget it. All of the ‘heart hugs’ and ‘St. Patrick’s Day leprauchans’ and sending the virtual mai tais and daquiris? Don’t waste your time.

I’m also not too much of an online shopper, so fortunately that isn’t sapping my time.

I’ve never even learned to play solitare on my laptop.

But I am online quite a bit throughout the day.

As a writer, I prefer to work on several different projects at any given time. I also like to think, plan and work in the short term, the mid-term and the long term. All at once.

Some would argue that having too many balls in the air is begging for a juggling meltdown. I tend to look at it as having lots of irons in the fire.

Works for me.

I give my attention to what I’m currently writing, oh, let’s say a short story. But if I hit a rough patch or my inner muse is being petulant and refuses to acknowledge my existence?

I will just shift over and work on an article or blog post or one of the bigger projects I’ve got going.

It might take me longer to get individual pieces done, but I can usually find something that I’m inspired to do and that needs to be done. Somehow it all evens out.

Then there’s the research. And yes, I truly mean work-related research. Not the ‘Let’s pretend that learning about the personal lives of celebrities will further my craft’ sort of research’ (Okay, well, sometimes there is a bit of that.)

I’m talking about topical research for an upcoming piece. Or technical research on an array of issues to understand how things work and why: to improve my writing, my website, my blog. 

I research all aspects of writing itself: the business side, the practical side, the creative side and the inspirational side.

I guess I’m not one for cloistering myself in an ivory tower, living only to put pen to paper. I’m constantly learning about new sources, tools and trends. 

Oh and let’s not forget checking out my favorite expat (and non-expat) websites and blogs.

Throughout the day I tend to flip back and forth between various sites: my projects, websites, blogs, email, social media, news.

And I will admit that sometimes occasionally I get sucked in.

I’ll be doing something and next thing I know, twenty minutes has passed. Or more.

I have had to learn the hard way to ignore the lure of the internet siren’s call.

Why? Because I love what I do. 

And with only 2.3% going for me, I need all the help I can get to avoid getting taken in by the 97%.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find out the latest on creative Manchester United striker and village idiot Wayne Rooney’s two-game suspension for thinking it was a good idea to scream ‘F#*@ Off’ into a camera.

It’s research.

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