This post first ran on April 27, 2010. It's all still true - for me, at any rate.
1. Look for your favourite pen.
2. Discover the pen has inexplicably run dry. Go to the store to find new favourite pen.
3. Reward yourself for finding the new pen by buying yourself coffee.
4. Sit down at your desk and rearrange all the paper that has inexplicably covered it.
5. Read what is written on each piece of paper. Decide it's all worth keeping and you'll file it away. Tomorrow.
6. Reward yourself for coming to a decision about the paper by making a tasty sandwich.
7. Clear your head after all this work by taking a brisk walk around the block.
8. Sit down at your desk and stare at the keyboard. Torture yourself with the fact that all the keys are there to write a runaway bestseller, if you just type them in the correct order.
9. Get up from your desk and pace the room. Notice you're making a pathway in the carpet. Resolve to get hardwood floors. Next week.
10. Sit down. Write one sentence. Delete it. Write another sentence. Delete it. Get fed up and write whatever comes into your head. The last thing you write will be worth keeping.