Sunday, April 5, 2009

tips for writers

You should never lick can lids. Just in case your mom never told you that.

Or stick your thumb inside the opening of a pop-top beer.

Okay. Those are my writing tips for today.

Usually, when I read other writers' blogs with tips about writing... no, wait, pretty much always... those tips don't mean anything to me. Maybe it's just me... I don't know.

I've been writing a hell of a lot lately. I did an interview for a radio station earlier this week (it will be posted on the web in a few days), and the interviewer asked me how many hours I put into writing each day when I'm in book-writing mode.

I don't even look at it that way, to be perfectly honest. Because counting hours is too much like a "job" to me, and I just do what I do until I'm finished and satisfied for the day.

Then I go lick can lids or jam my thumb into a pop-top beer can.

But, seriously, if I had to quantify it, I'd say that when I'm writing, I put in eight to ten hours at it per day.

But I don't count.

It's very important that I start my day with my work. And coffee, too. Then, right when I get to a really good part that I'm excited about, I'll usually go run a few (maybe five) miles and think things through. I don't wear iPods when I run, as much as I'd like to, because they interfere with thinking, and they also make it really easy for mountain lions to kill you.

Which is something your mom probably didn't tell you.

But it's true.

I built a sauna at my house a few years ago. Sometimes, when I'm writing, I'll take a break and go sit in the sauna for half an hour or so. It's also a good way to think things through. Sweat, steam, and silence.

I am heading there now. I need to think about the strange place I've left myself in today.