You’re a writer. You know writing is all about self-discipline. Okay, it’s also about technique and talent, but I’m not blogging about those. Work with me here.
Writing is about self-discipline. Steely, hard-eyed, butt-in-the-chair-hands-on-the-keyboard discipline. I get that. But before you plant your butt in that chair have you…
10. Checked the level of your coffee supplies. Some say you can never have enough coffee; and they may be right. I say you know you’ve reached your coffee limit when your typing starts to look like this: “ttttttttttttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssss”.
9. Ensured your food drawer is stocked. Everyone has a food drawer; don’t try to deny it. Some say their drawers are full of healthy snacks. I say some lie. One word, my friend, one word: Chocolate.
8. Set your radio/computer/mp3/cd player to your preferred music. Some of us write to music; some don’t. I write to the dulcet tones of warring cats and the occasion yell of “Mum? Do we have any food?” I won’t share my reply to either party; use your imagination. You are a writer, aren’t you?
Which leads me to remind you to:
7. Warm up your imagination to get those creative juices flowing. Think about which film star would play the lead in your current work. Then think about meeting said film star and how you would carry off the meeting with aplomb and ease, whilst adorned in an outfit that says, “Yes, I look fabulous in a very nonchalant, it took me five minutes to throw together this outfit and I never need to go to the gym because I’m gifted with a wonderful metabolism" way.
6. Think about going to the gym. Dismiss it. Eat a cupcake. (see #9)
5. Do one last check of your social networks. After all, you’re about to turn off the internet and concentrate on your writing. One last check won’t hurt. Oh look, pictures of cupcakes.
4. The pictures of cupcakes have links to recipes. Check them out. You’re following through which is the hallmark of any good researcher. And every writer needs to research. You may be able to use this newfound cupcake knowledge in your current project. The readiness is all.
3. Pause for a moment to reflect on how Shakespeare has a line for almost every occasion.
2. Pause for another moment to reflect on how you resorted to using a Shakespearean line instead of being original and employing your own words.
1. Pause for a third moment to remind yourself that Shakespeare was a genius and his work is still relevant and being performed 425 years later. And since he lived in Elizabethan times, Will would have been drinking ale or wine, not coffee. Now there’s food for thought.
Elspeth Futcher is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games A Fatal Fairy Tale, Deadly Ever After and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the Internet. All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by host-party.com. Her newest game, Once Upon a Murder, will be published by Red Herring Games. Her 'writing sheep' are being featured this year in a series of columns in the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.