My Version of the Top Ten Writing List

Today I was going to blog about the writing process and a new tool I've found to keep my erratic thoughts under control. (Because even though I read about this idea plenty of times on this here blogosphere over the past year, I'm stubborn and refused to do it with my first MS, but have totally gotten into it with my WIPs. Needless to say, now I *get* why it's so helpful.) Instead, I'm going to go off on an unrelated subject, because it just came to me, and it's my blog, and I don't always have to stick to the plan (so there).

I have a confession. I'll never be able to say I'm a great blogger. I'm not. I know this, and used to beat myself up about it. That was one of the reasons I fell off the map for over two months not that long ago - because I was feeling the pressure of being interesting, blogging about things people might actually want or need to know.

Most writers blog often about what to do, the right way to do them, and better yet, how to do those things, and do them well. I can't do a whole lot of that yet though, mainly because I'm new to this whole thing and still have a lot to learn. Another reason? Every time I go to type something out, I feel as though I'm writing what fifty bazillion people have already done.

But fear not, my readers! There are a few things I can share with confidence, so hold on to your coffees... 'cuz here I go.

Jessica's Top Ten List of Writing Don'ts:

1. Never write/type/edit when your eyes are tired - unless you actually like the terrible eye wrinkles look. (Don't believe me? See picture below.)

DSC_1426.jpg picture by munchi5gal

(How old am I again?)

2. Never a bag of *insert your favorite candy or chip/pretzel/any kind of carb here* sitting next to you while you write each day because, chances are, you'll eat it all during your writing frenzy (or block, it could be either one). Then you'll be sad when the bag is empty, which will throw off your writing, and even sadder after weeks of this when you can't fit into your chair anymore, due to each of your thighs now being the size of a small child. (Sorry. No picture for you on this one.)

3. Do not have old shows blaring from the TV in the next room while you're writing, unless you want to waste precious writing time listening to them, remembering how much you loved AC Slater and how awesome you thought he looked in those ridiculous tank tops.

ac-slater.jpg picture by munchi5gal

(I mean, sure, the occasional walk down memory lane can be nice, but is listening to conversations between Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar really going to be that inspiring?)

4. Never, and I mean NEVER edit first thing in the morning before drinking at least one cup of coffee, first. There's nothing worse than going back when you're actually awake and wondering, "Who the heck wrote this? And what were they thinking?"

5. Don't attempt to write with twitter, facebook, or any other kind of social media websites up in windows next to your WIP on the computer screen (yes, other blogs do count). As Kathy Bates said in "The Waterboy", it's the de-bil. The De-bil, I tell ya! Minutes turn into hours when you're on those things. (What? No way. How can I be the only one with this problem?)

6. Be cautious of your "brilliant" idea to record those late night thoughts with your cell phone video camera (so you don't have to get out of bed, or worse yet, write in the dark), unless you can 100 percent guarantee that some time the next day (before you have a chance to write it down), your kids won't be playing with your phone.

7. It's best not to burn any cookie, vanilla, butter cream, or coffee scented candles while writing, or your writing time may end up sounding like this...

"Once upon a... "


" ...time there lived a... "

ice cream!

"... girl who liked... "

chocolate ice cream with FUDGE!

" eat fudge..."

Oh fudge! Where was I????

8. Yes, you are a writer, which means you're talented (that goes without saying), but don't let that go to your head and make you think you're coordinated enough to type on newly painted nails without destroying them.

9. When writing down ideas and cooking dinner, take your paper and pencil into the kitchen. (That way you won't forget about the potatoes frying in the pan, because your family won't be too happy when you serve a side dish that looks like charcoal.)

DSC03021.jpg picture by munchi5gal
(Incidentally, this is a picture I found on photobucket.
Mine looked much, much worse than this!)

10. If you ever decide to blog about a writing list, make sure the topics involve things you actually know.

I could mention many more don'ts, including writing and driving, not saving your latest changes before logging off the computer, and how bad it is to leave your most recent awesome idea next to the scratch paper your kids use for painting, but I think a ten-item list is good, for now.

So how about you, my fellow writers? Do you have a writing faux pas to add to the list?


Anne Gallagher said...

The bag of candy by the desk and not saving changes before logging off...yes...yes...yes.

Great list, and I too have burned my share of dinner.

Some Screaming Fangirl said...

Oh, no....*looks at bag of Doritos to right* That's not good.

Thanks for the advice though, really in-depth list!