Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10 Steps to Writing

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.


  1. Elspeth - I loved this the first time you ran it and I love it now. That's most definitely how to get started writing! I also sometimes include this step: Notice your pets are curled up in the room. Pet them and give them treats; after all, there's no need to neglect your pets just because you're a writer. ;-).

  2. Margot; You're such a faithful follower - thank you! Especially since I've fallen behind on my commenting...please know I'm reading your blog every day and enjoying it mightily.

  3. Painfully true, isn't it? The moment I give in to procrastination - even if it's just to click over to Weather.com to find out what the temperature is - I'm sunk. One bit of procrastination leads to another... and before I know it writing time's up and nothing got done.

  4. Elspeth - *Seriously beet-red blush* That's so kind of you :-).

  5. KM; It's sad but true. We all have to battle that procrastination dragon. (hmmm...I think there's a post there...)

    Margot; I mean every word.

  6. This is, sadly, the way my writing has gone this week! I did better today--while in the eye doctor's waiting room, waiting for my kids' appointments to be done. Maybe because I was trapped?


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!