Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Re-print: "Preparing to write"

As Sam Seaborn in The West Wing says, "Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright." Alas, I'm not stealing this one (although I should). The credit for this post goes to my dear friend Elspeth Antonelli, mystery author and keeper of the fabulous blog It's a Mystery. She graciously let me re-print her post "Preparing to Write". Thanks, Beth!

Twenty steps for 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.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

Thanks, Elisa. I feel famous. I'm not, but I feel it. Wow. That's deep. Or delusional.

Elisa said...

Delusional is if you call your cats Ian or Lauren, thinking they are your personal assistants, and then habitually fire and rehire them.

You're just deep AND famous. Good combination. :)

Texas Playwright Chick said...

OMG!!! I'm a playwright and can attest to the fact that this is EXACTLY how it all happens! Except I usually find I need to clean a toilet or two, take the dog for a walk, think about doing Yoga, decide not to, do the dishes, sweep and so on and so on and so on and so on and...so...on...*grin* Procrastination in the writer's daily companion. But, I do have really clean toilets!

Elisa said...

TP Chick, when I was writing my Master's thesis, my advisor had an expression: "Sooner or later, the toilet is clean enough and you have to write the damn thing."

Thanks for checking in!


Terri said...

Great list, Elspeth - I love it! Thanks for sharing it, Elisa. :)

Kristin Miller said...

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh this morning! *grin

Guinevere said...

This sounds very familiar. Very funny, too. :)

Elisa said...

Thanks, all. So wish I could take the credit for it!


Nishant said...

You're just deep AND famous.
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