A helpful guide to the writer in your life

“…writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done – so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.” – Ernest Hemingway

I have been writing up a storm, sparks flying off my laptop, for the last week or so. The end of the second draft is in sight and I’m hoping to have the book finished in about three weeks. It has taken longer than I anticipated, but I’m the most impatient person in the world and I always underestimate how long it will take to finish something. I’m writing seven days a week and in a really good rhythm and I enjoy it more than almost anything else in the world.

I have noticed that there are some outward signs which might help people to tell how well or badly the work is going. These are specific to me but perhaps more common than I think? If any writers read this and want to add to the list, have at it in the comments!

Signs that writing is going well

  1. Ten minute breaks every couple of hours, which writer spends pacing the patio while smoking (think: exercise in a prison yard).
  2. On approach, writer has a distracted air and is entirely useless when faced with questions.
  3. Food goes by the wayside as writer makes second pot of coffee and smokes fourth cigarette.
  4. Leaving the house, and more importantly the laptop, for a considerable length of time causes writer to become agitated and excessively verbal.

Signs that writing isn’t going well

  1. Writer’s house is sparklingly clean and all clothes are ironed and hanging according to colour.
  2. Writer’s nails are perfectly groomed.
  3. Writer wastes time by compiling elaborate charts and work schedules, including but not limited to coloured Post-It Notes, innumerable print-outs masquerading as “research” and multiple thesauri laying open and dog-eared.
  4. Writer has ten blog posts scheduled in advance.

One thought on “A helpful guide to the writer in your life

  1. Pingback: The Word Count Dilemma « Alex Donald's Multiverse

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