Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Signs of a Typical Writing Day


10. The mug of coffee by your side seems to have cooled incredibly fast. You know you couldn't have spent that much time reading emails and checking in on Facebook.

9. That idea that kept you up last night (and you were so sure you'd remember that you didn't take notes) has vanished without a trace.

8. At the same moment that your fingers touch the keyboard, your previously peacefully snoozing pets leap up and begin a vigorous reenactment of the D Day landings at Normandy.

7. The dialogue which sounded so bright, witty and (let's just say it) literary in your head has revealed itself to be trite, cliche-filled and (let's just say it) stupid on paper.

6. You've spent the last 15 minutes imagining how you'll feel when you finish this manuscript. You're presently on page 10.

5. You love your plot. You love your characters. It's your actual writing of which you're not so enamoured.

4. Your coffee has cooled again. You know you couldn't have spent that much time reading and commenting on your favourite blogs.

3. You decide to get up and get active. Whilst moving around you can't help but notice your feet are sticking to the floor and you wonder idly how long it's been since you washed it. You immediately decide this line of thought could be dangerous to your writing, but grudgingly admit this sticky a floor might be dangerous to your health.

2. Moving to a bookshelf, you pick out one of your favourite novels for inspiration. After only a few sentences you know in your heart that you will never write as well as this author. Practice self-restraint and reach for the cold coffee instead of the wine.

1. You sit back down and face your blank screen. Summoning the inner strength of St. Joan of Arc, you pound out a sentence. It isn't completely awful. Resist the urge to belt out "Tomorrow" from "Annie". Your pets will judge you. Harshly.

32 comments:

  1. Or you live at 9100 feet where water boils at 195, so your coffee isn't ever really hot to begin with.

    Terry
    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

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  2. Exceptional list!! I love it! :)

    Just 40 minutes ago I was lamenting the fact that I lost that "next great idea" I had only two hours earlier...

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  3. Terry; I've never lived at that altitude; it must have taken some adjustment.

    jm; I'm impressed that you're able to be so positive so quickly about misplacing that 'next great idea'. I'd still be in mid-curse.

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  4. Elspeth - Thanks for this. It's so important - at least to me - to just get out one sentence. Any sentence. Something you write, no matter what it is, can be developed into something good. If you don't write anything, you can't make it into something good. That first sentence takes a lot of courage sometimes, though...

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  5. Ha! Perfect.

    And I've just realized how much time I've spent looking at blog posts...

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  6. Carol; I refuse to say how many of these are actually true for me. Then again, I *did* write this post...oh dear.

    Margot; Sometimes it takes more work to write one sentence than it does a whole page.

    JEFritz; LOL! Ah, but time well spent...thanks for taking the time to read mine!

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  7. I've decided that coffee gets cool quickly because of the large amount of cream that I put in it. Yes...that's what it is!

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  8. I really hate when you read my mind.

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  9. So funny, doing all those right now!.... must get back to writing ;p

    The Arrival, only .99c on Amazon
    www.damselinadirtydress.com

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  10. This is wonderful! I can definitely relate... and I have my own sign of a typical writing day: A dead battery in my wirless mouse because I spent too much time playing Plants vs. Zombies. Good times. But not the best way to write a novel.
    I do have to admit though, my creativity and inspiration do tend to strike me while I'm vigorously clicking suns and planting pea shooters.

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  11. Oh man, hilarious--good thing I wasn't take a sip of that cold coffee while I read this, it'd go right through my nose!

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  12. I love this list! Makes me want to stand up and shout, YAY! I'm not alone! I'M NOT ALONE!" but I won't do that because I need to sit down and write.

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  13. Yes! The internet is evil, luring me away from writing. Hmm, must love evil things, since I spend so much time "doing research" (read, checking Facebook and blog posts). Thanks for a great and all too true list!

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  14. Your computer smells your fear and crashes. Otherwise, you would have put in ten solid hurs of writing.

    There is so much in your list I can relate to.

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  15. This is absolutely typical for me, as both a student and a writer. Do you mind terribly if I repost this on my own blog?

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  16. All too familiar. I swear sometimes you are living my life.

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  17. Hi, Elspeth. You look familiar, but I don't see my pic on your followers icon. I came over from my friend Pat Stoltey.

    I love this list. It is so very true (all except, for me, the coffee, since I don't drink coffee), especially #9, the idea vanishing because I didn't write it down but thought at the time that I would remember!! They all made me smile, which is a nice way to begin a new day. Thank you!
    Ann Best, Author @ Long Journey Home

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  18. I love your list! It is so real and I can probably add many more things to it :-)

    Deborah @ThirtyCreative

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  19. I think the problem is mainly the Internet and the fact that most of us work from our computers now. It's that whole idea of instant gratification/I need to be "in the know" at all times possible. Distractions include: email, readers, twitter, and facebook.

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  20. Hi Elspeth .. that sounds like a normal day .. except I don't have pets - but just as I'm getting stuck in .. I think I must get up and visit my mother .. c'est la vie ..

    Good to be here - see you soon ... Hilary

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  21. This works just as well for non writers who have to work on spreadsheets, send emails, write a report on last week's training session, think up a meaningful but fun activity to start tomorrow's class with, or just get round to making the 27 phone calls that haven't happened all week.

    And it's usually blackcurrant tea once I get into the office.

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  22. Every single one of these is right on for me.

    Maybe not the sticky floor one, but I do know how distracting cleaning can be when I am trying to work on my novel.

    This is an awesome post!

    Liz

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  23. I can agree with every single one of those points, you must be psychic!

    One slight alteration I'd like to make...the time spent on Facebook and reading other people's blogs is "research", right?!

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  24. Number 5 and Number 7. Totally.

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  25. Great list. On Saturday I had a 9/7 combo plate, waking up with the perfect short piece, writing it, and realizing it should have NOT written it down when I woke up!

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  26. LMAO - this is a perfect list - all true for me, how funny! thanks for the laugh this morning, really, I mean it!

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  27. This is so perfectly true! Also, you realize how much time you spent blogging about writing instead of writing, lol.

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  28. #3 leaves me wondering how in God's name you have gotten inside of my head :)

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  29. And I thought it was just me. Except I hate coffee but there's always something. Your writing is wonderful; it flows so effortlessly. I will have to check out more when I finish writing in my blog.

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