Much is said about the necessity of developing a daily routine for writing. We signal our readiness to work by bringing a big cup of coffee to our computer, logging off the Internet, and placing our hands on the keyboard. Every day. Without fail.
But writing is not always a serious business. Our newest contributor to The Blood-Red Pencil is Elspeth Antonelli, who will show us the lighter side of this creative adventure. Here's how Elspeth views the pre-writing routine:
BEFORE YOU 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 is an author, a playwright and a keeper of cats in a house which is never clean. Her twelve murder mystery games and two plays are available through host-party.com. She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine "Elias". Her blog, "It's A Mystery," explores the writing process with a touch of humor.