Step 1 - Shame
Today that catalyst was running across a website for an author that recently signed with a small publishing company that I have never heard of before today. In the post that I read he mentions that he started 3 years ago when he ran across a website that allows authors to produce podcasts of their books which people can listen to online or download. He stated that he has written 6 books in that 3 year period.
6 Books! I have yet to finish one book or one short story! Upon reading those words my pulse rapidly elevated, my mind went into a stupor of shame. I decided that today, yes today, I would write. And this time I will accomplish something.
Step 2 - Master My Domain
That is not a veiled Seinfeld reference. Though it would be frickin' hilarious if it was.
Interviewer: "You are a best selling author. Your writing has changed the world. We all have only one question. What is your secret?"
Author: "Well thanks for recognizing my ubertalent. And by the way, you have lovely eyes. That sweater really brings that color out."
Interviewer: Coyly turns away, but obviously flattered. "Oh stop it."
Author: "Well the real secret to my success is that I 'crank one out' before I write anything. It kind of gets out all of the anxiety and allows me to write at my best."
Interviewer: "Crank one out? Is that a writing term?
Author: "Writing term? Not exactly. Though I have been working on a chapter in my How to Write Best-Sellers book about it. No, not a writing term. It is a common action though. You know, strangle the snake, drain the hose, choke the bishop."
Interviewer: "Do you mean... That's disgusting. You know, I hated your book. I though your treatment of women was deplorable. And what are you doing flirting with me, you are married."
I master my domain by setting up my area. In order for me to write, every possible distraction must be removed. I clean up my desk. This take a while due to the fact that the only time I clean my desk is when I am ready to write. I get a drink and put it next to my computer. A good mix of 55% white grape juice and 45% apple juice. If I go with a 50/50 mix the apple overwhelms the grape and I get an upset stomach whenever I drink too large a mix of apple. The cup is set directly to the left of my laptop.
Step 3 - Music
A good non-writing writing session is fueled by good music. I prefer a crappy instrumental CD. One that I can't stand so I won't focus in on it. Every once in a while I will pull out something with a good driving beat to it. There is always a potential backfire of liking the music and getting caught up in a fantasy where I dream about actually knowing something about music. Maybe one where I learn to play the guitar that sits right next to my desk and become an uberrockstar instead of the uberwriter that I working on not becoming.
Step 4 - Purge the guilt through blogging
Accompanying any attempt to write is an overwhelming burden of guilt. If you remember step one, you are fully aware of this already. This guilt and shame must be removed. You cannot write feeling guilty!
Step 5 - Go check a college basketball website to see if anything has happened in the past 45 minutes.
Step 6 - Forget about writing
And that, my friends, is my writing routine. Thanks for not reading.