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Friday, June 26, 2009

A Writing Vice

As a relatively unpublished author (I estimate that I've published 2000 of the 500,000 words I've written in the last 7 years) I have little advice to offer other writers. No substantiated tips on editing, publishing, or reaching new readers. However, I can share my tricks for motivating myself to produce.

This started last summer when I was doing a seventeenth edit on my second novel, "My Life According to Barbie." An editor from a big name NY publishing house had requested some changes. A lot of changes actually, including the title which might be my favorite 5 words in the entire book. I agreed to this next revision even without a contract, but I found myself having a difficult time getting motivated. So I developed a vice (or a system of vices).

Coffee. I didn't allow myself a cup of coffee in the morning unless I was parked in front of my laptop. Caffeine addiction can be a real motivator early in the day.

Peanut M&M's. To get editing done during the afternoon nap time I lured myself to the desk with peanut M&M's. And now they have dark chocolate peanut M&M's. I'll write a chapter for a handful of those treats. (Note: M&M's also work well to keep the word count up. Try one M&M for every fifty words produced.)

Red wine. Ohhh the benefits of a pinot noir... It's good for your heart and really gets the creative juices flowing. So when the house was quiet I'd pour a glass and get to work. One bottle of Estancia can last three nights of productive writing.

My vices will not work for everyone. A writer needs to develop her own. Gummi Worms. Smoking. Tequila. Chips and salsa. And hopefully too much of a good thing will only lead to a higher word count.

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