I try to get in 500 words in the morning, but even if I only generate that first hundred, that’s usually all the momentum I need to finish the additional 400 later on.
Also, because I can forget a topic I want to address, I have lately found myself jotting them down at the top of my page, almost as if they’re agenda items…bullet points and everything. Pretty sad, isn’t it?
Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?
“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”
When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment?
“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”
And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…
“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”
What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?
“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep,
, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” [The Guardian, 25 February 2010]
One small segment of her message seemed to resonate…
I repeat…all her fault.
And I blame Trader Joe’s who is selling organic strawberries for $2.50 a pound. Let’s face it, most of those gorgeous ones in the supermarket have very little flavor and considering they are one of the dirty dozen, well, that doesn’t help in the ‘appeal’ category.
First of all, doubt your dominance over nature? Git yerself a weedwhacker.
2. Allergy season. Anyone suffer so much that the only practical way to deal with the messy symptoms is to hook a roll of paper towels to your belt?
Still on hay fever…nose-blowin’ guys with the cool 5 o’clock stubble: the inevitable remaining tissue-flivvle…not a good look.
3. Car rental agencies…love to give you a car with a partially-filled tank. They know darn well you’re:
too busy [or not math-fluent enough] to estimate how much is needed to return that midsize at the required level.
going to forget you started with a partial tank
therefore going to fill well beyond the required level.
Hey, we’re all in this together [whatever ‘this’ is]. Any frustrations niggling at you? Share them below.
–If you want to crank out a substandard product and still make a little cash, look to the world of pet products. After all, how can you guarantee the entertainment value of a dog toy? And so, it’s a wide open marketplace. “Barkley couldn’t live without his Squiggly Squirrel” goes the testimonial. What we’re not told is Barkley would equally relish an empty milk container.
–Nike, Under Armour, Adidas… Shouldn’t you be paying us to advertise your products as we wear them?
–I am still waiting for that blasted ‘volumizing’ shampoo to kick in after years of use. My forehead continues its relentless advance.
So, here I am and I am clearly in need of a new look for drafts in MacJournal…
There—that’s better. Charter Roman…I like it.
Giving in to meaningless font-focused distractions prompts me to share a few more tips on how to fail at this writing thing.
1. Have a dog. For a less-fettered path to failure, get one with a clear opinion of his superiority over any digital device.
2. Live in a locale with great weather. That sun just pulls me away, with each wavelength of radiant flux** reminding me that: A. I need vitamin D B. camping out in front of a screen is a waste of valuable daylight.
3. Own a DVR. But if you ARE going to sit in front of a screen and waste valuable daylight, you might as well be catching up on [insert favorite cable series here].
4. Keep your most valuable insights and creations on a plethora of notebooks scattered throughout the universe.
5. Nurture a lifelong interest in sports. [Diabolical ESPN.com opens on its own, I swear.] Checking for croquet updates is thus inevitable, followed by an all-too-convenient point-and-click side trip to your favorite croqueter’s profile.
**Another tip for failure: Find it imperative to research how sunlight is measure.
cheese bread actually includes chunks of detectable cheese rather than a few scattered molecules. [I mean it, we’re talkin’ molecules!]
Ditto with cookies n’ cream ice cream. If I wantedcrumbs n’ cream ice cream, that’s what I’d buy. Cookies n’ cream should feature veins and lodes of the chocolate cookie. [I mean it, we’re talkin’ veins and lodes!].