HOW NOT TO WRITE...now with HOW TO ADDENDUM...
Caroline Bock - Author of BEFORE MY EYES and LIE
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Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES

HOW NOT TO WRITE...now with HOW TO ADDENDUM...






HOW NOT TO WRITE...
 
-Listen to that voice that pounds the back of your skull with,“Not today. I can’t do it. I’ll start on Monday morning at 6 a.m., no, at 5 a.m.”
 
-Oversleep on Monday morning until 7 a.m. and decide it’s way too late to start.
 
-Talk about what you are going to write. Tell it to your writer friends, your book club, to the guy in accounting, who admits that the last novel he read was in freshman English.
 
-Decide what you need is another outline. Exhaust yourself scribing on a long yellow legal pad every plot point you can imagine (Zombies! Ebola pandemics! Martians!) into your historical novel set in mid-20 century Europe.Add this yellow legal pad to the pile beside your desk.
 
-Confirm to yourself that what you truly need is more research. This gets you going. The World Wide Web—hours wrap like rubber bands into a ball— and reams of notes printed out. But it’s not enough. You can justify a trip. You are writing about Italy, you must seek out the wonders of Rome, or at least visit a nearby pizza joint, or partake of a shot of espresso at the coffee shop. All this inspires you to do more research.
 
-Focus on your computer or your printer or desk. The printer is hacking out pages like an old man with phlegm. Shouldn’t you upgrade? Isn’t your monitor too small? Isn’t it time to back up? Clean up history? Shouldn’t you be working at one of those standing desks—wouldn’t jogging on a treadmill attached to your desk improve your writing? A trip to the office supply store is what’s required, and you set out, determined to conquer technology and write more, better, faster— and get in shape.
 
-Do anything but write one sentence and then another until a page is done, a scene or chapter is drafted. How to write that first sentence? That’s another blog.

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Much response to this post, so I've added this addendum:

"Graham Greene realized early in his writing career that if he wrote just 500 words a day, he would have written several million words in just a few decades. So he developed a routine of writing for exactly two hours every day, and he was so strict about stopping after exactly two hours that he often stopped writing in the middle of a sentence...." (from the Writer's Almanac).  Great advice, and now, I have to stop writing... (only kidding, I am just getting started!) Caroline

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Caroline Bock is the author of two critically acclaimed young adult novels: LIE (St. Martin’s Press, 2011) and BEFORE MY EYES (St. Martin’s Press, 2014). Her short stories and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Akashic Press, Gargoyle Magazine andits Defying Gravity Anthology, Fiction Southeast, 100 Word Story, Ploughshares,Prometheus,Vestal Review, and Zero Dark-Thirty. She is also a contributor to The Washington Independent Review of Books. She writes every day, or at least attempts to write. More at wwww.carolinebock.com   

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