Apr 16, 2011

*How Not to Write a Book

by Cindy R. Williams

1.  Keep your house spotless. (I think somewhere there is writing law that your house MUST be messy to be a good writer. I'm sticking to that rule.)

2.  Fix great meals. (Who needs to eat anyway? Can't everyone see I'm busy. There's cereal in the cupboard.)

3.  Polish your fingernails. (Hold on, I think it is actually quite inspiring to see hot pink nails flashing as I write at the speed of light.)

4.  Polish your toenails. (Now this is just plain out avoiding writing if you ask me . . . even though I do like to have wild colors on my toe nails. Right now they're sky blue. Looks great in sandals.)

5. Play Facebook games like:
Fairyland (This one is really for research for my fairy tales, right?)
Happy Pets (If I play this, I won't have to have real pets to clean up after.  (Oh wait, this excuse doesn't really make sense since we have three dogs, two goldfish and two Persian cats.)
Happy Aquarium (You know those two goldfish I just mentioned? Well, one is a 5 year old goldfish that is almost big enough to fry for dinner. All they do is swim around and around. What fun is that?)

6.  Spend 30 minutes a day reading and clearing out your emails. (Hmmm . . . not quite sure what to say about this one since many of us do business via our emails and online, including banking. How about we organize our inbox, be brief in our responses and prioritize.)

7.  Read for hours. Stay up all night reading one of those great books you just can't put down. (I did this with Janette Rallison's MY DOUBLE LIFE. It was such a fun read. Keep it up Janette!) I hear that reading is actually one of the best ways to become a better writer, especially if you are able study the writers techniques and not get totally lost in the story. There are good lessons to be had through analyzing authors style, tactics, words used to bring characters to life etc. and do so with tight writing.

8.  Watch TV. (I will never forget the one word President Gordan B. Hinckley used when he referred to wasting time watching TV, "inane".

9. Do the wash. (Nah . . . white socks and shirts are overrated.)

10. Get a good nights sleep. (Since having children, this has been a pipe dream.)

11. Take chocolate breaks every fifteen minutes. (Keep it closer to every half hour. If your Sarah Eden, your chocolate is Cheetos.)

12. Ignore the voices in your head. Just push them away. Tell them to go find another head to infiltrate. (I don't know about you, but I wake up with characters bossing me around, telling me to get out of bed and get their story right. Ignoring voices in my head is not an option. I would go insane. Oh wait, too late.)


  1. Love it. If I ever get to the published stage I will pull this out and go "see there was a reason why I was always behind on my house cleaning."

  2. Gee, according to this I don't have too many excuses so now I'm feeling extra guilty.

    First, my OCD husband takes care of the spotless house and meals (except for my son's), I never bother about nail polish, I hate FB games, wash is 50/50 with my husband (he works out of our home), sleep and chocolate never get in my way, and there is no way I can ignore voices in my head. But #6, 7, and 8 are definitely novel-killers.

    Those and maintaining a new website.

  3. How about fear. Not anything funny about that one.

  4. Don't forget talking on the phone to adult children.
    Pretty funny, Cindy!!! Being a writer with a family takes a balancing act for sure!!!!

  5. Hey nearly every one of those is on my list to do before writing...how'd you know?

  6. TV? No problem! But my main time-sucking vice is a PC game called Plants vs. Zombies. I can accidentally let it take up more time than Facebook! And once Portal 2 comes out, I might as well kiss my writing goodbye until I beat the game. ;)

  7. I'm all for ignoring my housework :-) But my family tends to disagree. But I definitely could procrastinate less and write/edit more. Unfortunately I ignored my laundry last week, so this week I have to get it done - darn! less editing time for me.

  8. I love you Cindy! I can so relate to these things. (heavy sigh)...:o)


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