26 August, 2010

Four things I do when I decide to sit down and write.

Lists. I love lists. the internet loves them, too. There are a gaggle of experts out in the electronic ether that will guide you through the trials and tribulations of your life in 5 to 10 easy steps. For me, I'll just share with you a handful of things I do to procrastinate when what I really want to do is sit down and write. Then, I suppose as a bonus, I'll share three things I do to get me in to a writing mood.

Four things I do instead of writing:

1. I stumble.

StumbleUpon is an app that allows you to stumble your way to random websites based on your tastes and preferences. for instance, I like technology, architecture, design and pictures of naked ladies, so you can usually find me watching TED presentations, checking out new artists like DubFX, or closing my laptop when someone walks up because I have bare breasts adorning my screen.

2. I Netflix.

I love Netflix. Absolutely and forever. I recommend it to anyone and everyone and, to me, no one can really match it in terms of value and convenience. However, having thousands of films and TV shows at my fingertips only serves to hinder any progress I might have with putting something on a page. It's sad that I have four Netflix-enabled devices sitting in my living room. --Five including my laptop.

3. I annoy my dog.

Like this:

Pillow avalanche! Where is your doggy god now?!

4. I do chores.

What's that old chestnut: "If you want to write, make sure your dishes are clean"? Yeah. I'm one of those people who needs a to-do list to check off before I can put my head in a place to think about anything creative. I envision it like that scene in Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land where Donald's mind is a filthy broom closet and needs to be dusted before he can grasp billiard geometry.

Three things I do to get myself to write:

1. I write letters.

A couple of friends and I like writing letters to each other. It's a lost art, I think. Whether by snail mail or electronically, there's a certain finesse about the whole affair. Plus, it goes a long way to teach you the craft of writing: you have to know your audience, be concise, engage quickly and get out on a button. Check out some of the published letters of past authors like the Romantics or from around the world wars. Cool stuff.

2. I get out of the house.

Leave me in the house for a day and I'll maybe turn out a page of material. Put me in a public place with a good playlist to put me in the mindset and I'll increase that output by at least four more pages.

3. I do R & R:  Reading & Research

Find your local library and use it like a cheap dollar hooker. Nothing beats free, even if it's just a place to go that doesn't charge you $4.00 for coffee. The library in the town I'm living in is a bit pitiful, but it'll do. If you want a really fantastic place to accrue overdue fines I suggest trying out the Cerritos Public Library. This is probably the coolest library I've ever been in.

4. I blog.

It's a good way to stay limber.