A slightly different version of this was posted on my old blog.  And by ‘old,’ I mean ‘deleted because I was an idiot.’

Anyway.

Before I quit (cold turkey, I might add), there was actually a method to my madness.  Yes, you read that right.  I had a writing process.  And in the interest of helping you out, I thought I would share.

  1. Step one is the same no matter what genre your writing project is: Procrastinate.  I usually play video games for a few hours.  The best part about this step is that when one of your parents comes in the room and tells you to do your chores, you can say, “Can’t, Dad.  I’m writing.”
  2. After you’re done procrastinating, you need to postpone your writing – or at least put it off. I like to practice guitar for this step.  It’s actually an improvement; I play video games in the living room and I play guitar in my bedroom.  Gradually getting closer to the computer.
  3. You’ve procrastinated and postponed, and now it’s time to plunk down in front of the computer and… play more video games.  And since you’ve reached step three in the writing process, you should reward yourself.  Go have a snack.  Take a break for a while and play with the cat.  Watch some TV.  Read a good book.  You deserve it.
  4. About this time, your parents will make you do the chores and homework that you’ve been ignoring. At this point, it doesn’t matter if you say that you’re right in the middle of the writing process.  They’ll tell you that it’s one in the morning and that you need to get something done, and they won’t be reasonable no matter what you say.  This leads to:
  5. Abandon the writing process for the night.
  6. Fail at life the next day because you got about three hours of sleep.
  7. Get an incredible idea for a novel at lunch. Usually – because this is how life works – you’ll spend about twenty minutes trying to find a pencil in your bag and come up with an orange highlighter and no paper.  You will most likely have to frenetically scrawl on any available surface.  The table is a good place.  Your arm.  Your soon-to-be-ex-friend’s face.  You’ll be doing everything you can to get the idea down before you forget it, when inevitably…
  8. Someone decides to talk to you. You don’t want to look rude, so you pretend to pay attention while continuing to scribble all over your shirt like a crazy person.
  9. Eventually, they’ll leave, and you’ll realize that at some point you started writing down what you were hearing instead of what you were thinking. Half of your shirt is now covered in a character profile; the other half is covered in the story your friend was telling you about how her little brother can’t seem to stop killing bugs and eating them.  Congratulations!  You’re now wearing a shirt that advertises the character Samantha Martinez, who spends her free time hiking, swimming, and eating bugs.  What a fashion statement.
  10. Get some sleep and wake up unable to remember the events of the previous day. You’ll read back over your shirt and realize your idea sucks. Who would want to read about a character that eats bugs?  Luckily, your mistake is easily erased with a little stain remover.  Okay, a lot of stain remover.
  11. Flop down on your bed and vow that no matter what, you will become the most admired and respected… underpaid secretary ever.
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