Please welcome today’s Guest Chef, Lucienne Diver – literary agent and author of the young adult vampire novels Vamped and Revamped, and her newest release, Bad Blood.
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Creative
You’ve all heard that one of the most important parts of writing is applying butt to chair. In other words, you’ve got to be in it to win it. “Just Do It”…and all those other motivational slogans. I write at 5:30 a.m. every morning, and it’s often difficult to get motivated. The title of this blog is my way of saying that sometimes we need to get a little creative in order to convince ourselves to do the work when the words aren’t just pouring out onto the pages, so I’m going to share with you a few of my tricks.
Puppy Power – Okay, so at two years old, my dog isn’t really a puppy anymore, but he sure acts like it. Luckily, at o’dark thirty, he’s not quite as peppy as he gets a little later in the day. In fact, what he most wants to do at that hour is sleep, preferably curled up against my side or with a head over my foot or thigh. I make sure that I have my notebook and pens on my bedside table so that after pouring myself a ginormous cup of coffee (if you have a ten-year-old in the house, you know that yes, ginormous is most definitely a word), I have everything I need to settle in to write. My puppy makes sure of it. He’ll allow the one interruption to his sleep, because he knows mommy is a bear without it, but two…absolutely not. You would not believe the stopping power of a censuring look from a very adorable cockapoo. Really, wars could be stopped in their tracks by the application of properly put-out pups.
Bribery — I swear to you that if I weren’t writing, I’d be a lot further along on my diet right now. Unfortunately, my bribe of choice for applying butt to chair when it’s not going well is crackers. Specifically Ritz Sour Cream and Onion Crackers. But, hey, at least they’re baked. I count that as a win.
Running out of chores — My house is never so clean as when I’m stalling. I’m still working, just…not at writing. I tell myself that I’m putting my family first, that it’s very important that our power not be turned off for lack of bill paying (or even the ability to find the bills in the stack of mail that quickly piles up while I’m focused on writing for what very little free time I have every day). And it is vitally important that the floors be clean enough that my son can actually eat that thing he dropped on the floor and picked up again, citing the five second rule. However, there comes a certain point somewhere after the cleaning of the base boards and mini-blinds that there’s just nothing left to do but…say it with me…apply butt to chair.
A place of no distractions — If my puppy insists on play or my jeans get tight from all those Ritz Crackers or there’s nothing left to do around the house, I have a fourth strategy. I’ll take myself off to somewhere I’ll have to work because there’s nothing else to do. Generally, this means a lounge chair by the pool at the lodge. It’s a strategy I have to save for the weekends, when I start a little later than usual, but very effective. The sun and the possibility of bronzing keep me in place. Beyond that, I write freehand, which means just me and a notebook. No computer at the pool, no Internet access…except on my Blackberry. Luckily, I don’t find reading status updates and the like on my tiny little screen very enticing. More than that, the itty bitty keyboard has caused more typos than I care to count, and thus I’m far less likely to try to respond to anything I do read. If the weather isn’t conducive to butt in lounge chair, a.. bath is a good second. I use bath pillows to prop up both my head and my notebook to keep them relatively dry.
I hope that one of these strategies will work for you as well. If you’ve employed any tactics I haven’t considered above, please share!
Latest application of butt in chair: Bad Blood, a novel of the Latter-Day Olympians
New from Samhain Publishing June 28, 2011
Thanks, Lucienne! Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Lucienne’s most recent novel, Bad Blood.