Every writer dreams of being in The Zone - that magical place where words and ideas flow. There's a reason it's a dream because for many of us (myself most definitely included), our visits there are too few and far too fleeting. Here are ten signs that you too, my sister (or brother), are most assuredly not in The Zone:
10. Just one more game of Solitaire (or Free cell or Angry Birds or...). Just one. Oops, where did that hour go?
9. Notice you've used the word 'pretty' twice. Not in the same paragraph; the same sentence.
8. (If you write mysteries) your sleuth is about to have his/her big 'aha' moment. This is when you realize there is no logical way they could have leaped to the solution.
7. Realize your fingers are cramping because they've been frozen over the keyboard for such a long time.
6. It's been so long since you've looked at your WIP that when you actually open up the document you have to spend considerable time re-reading it because you have no idea what's going on.
5. Congratulations; you've just forgotten your main character's name.
4. You've only got half an hour to write and you're determined to make it count. Okay, just one more game of solitaire and you're going to start.
3. Your pet just came into the room, yawned, and left. He knows.
2. You've been popping about the Internet completing vital research. How is it possible that your computer's screen is showing travel packages to Tahiti?
1. You've achieved a new high score in Solitaire (or Free cell or Angry Birds or...). It's time well-spent.
Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games "A Fatal Fairy Tale" and "Deadly Ever After" are among the top-selling mystery games on the web. Her newest games, "Curiouser and Curiouser" and "Murder: Hollywood Style" have just been published . All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by host-party.com. She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites.