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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 things NOT to do when writing.


Top ten list of no-no's for a writer...


We learn from our mistakes, otherwise we have suffered unnecessarily.   I tell my children every day it's okay to make mistakes-no one is perfect because to err is human and what we do next separates us as individuals.

The writing journey I've followed these past three years taught and reminded me of some no-no's as a writer and I would like to share them with you.

1.)   Don't ever write when cooking, talking on the phone, wiping your kid's butt, or eating crackers (it's impossible to get those crumbs out of the keyboard and every time you hit the spacebar hearing that crunch! you'll be reminded of your stupidity).  Focus!

2.)  You are the most important tool in your writing so just as you recharge your laptop  you must fuel your body. So when hunger causes you to stop, practice proper nutrition.  I'm not your Mom nor am I a nutritionist-you know what's best and it doesn't include potato chips and coke.  I think it's safe to include exercise here as well.  Strap on your iPod and go for a walk to enjoy nature-it will also help to clear your head and possibly generate new ideas.   Please be careful and don't reach for the 100lb dusty weights sitting in your basement.  Work up to it.

3.)   Sleep, rest, or nap whatever you can manage when you're not thinking of what your main character will say next.  You need to get those creative juices flowing and there's nothing like giving your brain some recess time.

4.)  Alcohol.  Oh boy.  Look, I'm all for a drink or two for relaxation but don't fool yourself, writing is like driving and you can't drink and drive!  So don't do it or you'll find pure dead-end crap on your screen the next day.

5.)  Drugs.  Come on, really?

6.)  Sex.  Do you recall the Seinfeld episode when the group abstains from sex?  George becomes a scholar and Elaine turns into an airhead.  There's nothing like a good mind-blowing 'O', but be careful, too much will begin to creep into your novel....look at E.L. James-she claims to have gone through a mid-life crisis while writing the fifty shades series!

7.) Music.  Knock yourself out-whatever it takes.  A Baptist choir to death metal-again, whatever it takes.  Just to warn you though, YOUR MUSIC WILL INFLUENCE WHAT YOU WRITE, so be cautious.  Especially when writing children's literature you might not want to listen to Megadeath.

8.)  If you have children, please don't forget them.  They need you more than you need to steal a few moments on your laptop.  Set aside time first thing in the morning or at night to write.

9.)  Caffeine.  Yes!  It's like a defibrillator to the right side of your brain.  Try to limit the quantity, of course, or it will have adverse effects or even stop your heart.  Oh! And try not to add too much sugar or you'll end up a diabetic.

10.)  Your significant other.  Well, they are adults and can take care of themselves but try your best to spend some time with them instead of wondering how you're revising those first three chapters of crap your built your book upon.

Have I forgotten anything?  Please add in the comment section.

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