Jan 31, 2017


By Marsha Ward @MarshaWard


What? Is she kidding? Isn’t that HoHoKam for “go to sleep right now or the evil raiders will get you”?

Not really. BIC-HOK-TAM stands for “Butt in chair-hands on keyboard-typing away madly”. It’s what every writer needs to learn to do—every writing day.

Notice I said every writing day. This also might be “every writing moment.” I know some of us can’t write seven days a week like some full-time novelists do. As a women writer, I do have other commitments. Some women writers have families who need some measure of care. However, I encourage all writers to write in what time you can make available for writing.

Writers find the time to write in a variety of ways. We cut out watching that favorite television program. We vacuum twice a week instead of five times (or teach our children to do that job). We stop going to every baby shower or lunch date. Maybe we use comforters on the beds instead of making tight hospital corners each morning (again, why aren’t the kiddos making their own beds?). Perhaps we eat Cheerios for dinner a few nights a week instead of cooking gourmet meals.

Whatever sacrifice we (and our families) make gains us a few more minutes to write. A few more minutes to practice BIC-HOK-TAM!

Okay, we have a few minutes before we have to pick up Tabitha from kindergarten. How do we do BIC-HOK-TAM?

We sit down (BIC), put our hands on the computer keyboard (HOK), and start typing whatever comes into our minds, if we don’t have anything already flowing (TAM). Okay, so it’s a letter to our Aunt Katie on how fun it was to play in the snow at her house on Thanksgiving Day, 1983, or a grocery list, or a journal entry that can touch our family members many years down the road.

Maybe it’s just pure hoop-di-doo and garbage, but we’re WRITING, and soon, our minds will open up and we’ll start to write something we need to share, maybe a poem, an essay, a short story, a character sketch or a novel chapter. Maybe we’ll write a magazine article entitled “10 Ways to Make Time for Writing,” or another chapter in our non-fiction book. The point is to begin, and that’s where BIC-HOK-TAM comes in handy.

Use BIC-HOK-TAM as often as you can, to write and get closer to your writing goal.

*This blog post first appeared on The Ink Ladies Blog on July 26, 2007.


  1. Thanks for this Marsha! I need to remember that everything I write counts...as long as I try to write something every single day. hugs~

    1. We all need to remember the value of our writing, Kari. Keep writing!


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