"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

30 December 2009

Write ... write ...


The Writing 101, by Nicholas Bate

1. Every day.
2. Rain or shine.
3. Snow and blizzards.
4. You'™re writing.
5. The beach is calling.
6. You're writing.
7. Mood: up or down. Up and down.
8. You're writing.
9. Pencil and paper will do fine.
10. Back of an envelope.
11. Corner of a bus ticket.
12. Find some paper!
13. Get a timetable.
14. Coffee on the hour, not during the hour.
15. Rules are rules.
16. Rules gets quantity.
17. Generate quantity to be surprised by quality.
18. An urge.
19. Ignore the phone.
20. Ignore the door-bell.
21. Phone on silent. No, not vibrate. Silent.
22. A passion.
23. It must happen.
24. Start 0700 tomorrow.
25. At the desk. Computer on. Cornflakes eaten. Coffee set.
26. Write.
27. "First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him." Ray Bradbury
28. Blank paper is scary. So. Write.
29. Write.
30. The car stopped.
31. The car pulled up suddenly.
32. The car slid across the gravel; his gloved hand urged the powerful Porsche into a tight circle whilst aiming the gun at the lit window..
33. Walk to write.
34. Swim to write.
35. Meditate to write.
36. Read Stephen King's great guide to write.
37. Also Julia Cameron.
38. And the War of Art.
39. One more word.
40. One more sentence.
41. Another paragraph.
42. Another page.
43. A chapter.
44. 7340 words so far. Cool work.
45. You're a writer; nobody said it would be easy.
46. They're asleep. You'™re writing.
47. They're watching a film. You're writing.
48. They're shopping. You're writing.
49. You're not writing. You'™re surfing.
50. Write on the train.
51. Write on the bus.
52. Write at the airport.
53. Write while waiting for the dentist.
54. Don't write in the bed-room.
55. Don't write in the delivery-room.
56. Don't write at your daughter's hockey match
57. Observe.
58. Observe more.
59. Observe more, more often.
60. A person?
61. A person who looked anxious?
62. A woman whose strained expression suggests she had seen more than she really wanted to?
63. I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. Stephen King
64. Be sensitive.
65. To people.
66. To the elements.
67. To food tastes.
68. 100 more words, then a break.
69. Walk, stretch.
70. Don't over-analyze
71. Proof later.
72. Write.
73. Write.
74. She was astounded that the small brief-case held so many perfect five-hundred Euro notes. Where had the money come from and who was the man with whom she had been sharing her Life for the last two months?
75. Write a bit more.
76. She had a couple of options, especially now that she had decided she was going to leave him anyway.
77. Stop your melodrama. And insert more drama.
78. You are not blocked.
79. Is a shop-keeper blocked?
80. Is a fireman blocked?
81. Is a farmer blocked?
82. You are a writer: the stuff needs to get out of your head and onto the page/screen.
83. 'Take it Easy' said the Eagles. But they were not talking about writers.
84. The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. Linus Pauling
85. A slice of pizza won't work.
86. Nor a glass of beer.
87. A shower might.
88. A walk will.
89. Music could.
90. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk. Stephen King.
91. Write to create. Not to be published.
92. If you create well, you will be published.
93. Did you run the marathon to win? I thought not.
94. Listen to "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles.
95. Then start: write.
96. Cool, now off to the day job. Selling, chasing, project-managing. Writing code. Pole dancing. Writing code and pole dancing. Measuring. Cleaning. Whatever.
97. But tomorrow.
98. 0700
99. Cornflakes eaten, coffee primed.
100.The briefcase of high-value notes was scattered around the room. Blood was dripping from her cut eye ruining her new Zara top. Was he still in the flat? As she strained to see, she realised that she couldn'™t move.

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