Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Preparing to Write

20. Mentally pat yourself on the back for blocking out time to write.

19. Wonder how difficult it would be to literally pat yourself on the back.

18. Try it.

17. Try it with the other arm.

16. Try it with both arms at the same time.

15. Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realize you look like a demented bat.

14. Write a sentence. Caveat: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" does not count.

13. Take a sip of coffee, remembering to keep the liquid well away from the keyboard. You learned your lesson after the Great Spill of '08.

12. Spend a moment deciding who will play the main characters in the movie.

11. Spend a few more moments deciding which role George Clooney will demand to play.

10. Imagine yourself in an achingly trendy LA bistro, meeting George Clooney.

9. Realize before this can happen, you will need to purchase an entire new wardrobe.

8. Tell yourself you are not wasting time, you are firing your imagination.

9. Write another sentence. (see caveat above)

8. Remember you're having spaghetti for dinner and there's no spaghetti in the house.

7. Or tomato sauce.

6. Or salad ingredients.

5. Spend time inventing new curse words or phrases. Write them down.

4. Despite not falling under the boundaries of the caveat above, realize you cannot count these new words as part of your word count.

3. Curse again.

2. Switch your gaze between the keyboard and the screen. If you stare long enough, the words will come.

1. Decide you will write about the adventures of a quick brown dog.


  1. LOL!

    What have you been doing spying on my writing sessions? (And the new curse words do SO count! My heroine uses made up curse words, so I have to keep ahead of her.)

  2. Daring Novelist; Heh, heh, heh...I'm everywhere. Your heroine sounds interesting!

  3. wonderful! And so gratifying to read AFTER I did my thousand for today. I'm so close to having a big unwieldly mess of 90 thousand somewhat related words at which time I'm going to shelve them for two weeks and catch up on my blogging or something equally NOT looking at what sort of mess it is. I can't wait.

  4. Jan; Good for you! I'm sitting in approximately the same place after several revisions. I thought it would be sleeker by this point, but it still seems to be in tangles in some places.

  5. Two words: Friggin. Hilarious.

    Permission to reprint on my blog? (You get all the credit, of course.)

    Thanks -- so needed the laugh!

  6. Elisa; Two words: Of. Course. I'm so glad I was able to get you to laugh. That's a win for me.

  7. Karen; Thank you! I try. If you can't laugh at it, you're nowhere.

  8. Ha ha ha... okay, now what? I think I will try #3 a few more times.

    Great post.


  9. Hilarious, Elpseth! Sounds like you've been watching me...!

  10. More perfect for me than you can even imagine!

    Southern City Mysteries

  11. ROFL ... too cute (and waaaay too true!)

  12. Elsepth - This is scarily, eerily, and hilariously true! You rearlly shouldn't be revealing all of our secrets, though! Why not let people go on believing there's some magic about us writers ; )? I just love this!

  13. Just had my laugh workout for the day, thanks. I have so been there - done that, but could never have expressed it so well.

  14. Yes, I DO look like a demented bat! How did you know that?

    Love this...have tweeted.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  15. You can forget about #1. It's already been done. I did it. Story has been told. The quick brown dog jumped over the fence while chasing a red fox from the hen house. Eggs broke, fox escaped, dog took a nap.

    Straight From Hel

  16. Clarissa; I bounce between #3 and #2. It's a vicious circle.

    Talli; Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

    Michele; I'm pleased you liked it. I hope you're feeling better now.

    Cynthia; Thanks for saying that. I try.

    Margot; Someone gives me money to shut up, I'll shut up. Maybe. Until then...

    Jane; What a lovely thing to say. Thank you.

    Elizabeth; I'll never tell. Also note that you can't do it without raising your eyebrows. It adds to the dignity of the position. Thanks for the tweet!

    Helen; Ah, but the fox was sly - he was secretly working for the hens, spiriting away their eggs from the evil farmer. The dog was paid off. It's all a huge conspiracy. Oliver Stone will soon make the movie.

    Terry; Thanks. I (of course) made all this up. I've never had a day like this.

  17. Elspeth, you rock.

  18. Love it! Been there, done that :)

  19. Heather; So do you. Thanks!

    Jemi; I've got the t-shirt. Actually I have several.

  20. I'm running late, but so love this. What a great way to end my evening. Gives me something to think about tomorrow as I try to write my articles.

    Thoughts in Progress

  21. "The Great Spill of '08"--love it!
    Sadly, it's all so true, especially the spaghetti. And George Clooney.

  22. Mason; I'm happy to help, in my own small way.

    Lorel; The true stories are always sad on some level. Clooney, however, is on a level all his own.

  23. Hahaha. What a fantastic list. I think I'm guilty of many :) New follower of yours through Michele Emrath and her selfless plugging :)

  24. AA; Welcome! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.


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