Guest Blogger Kathy Myers writes:
Computers are great and all— without them, this blog wouldn’t exist and then what would I do? But when I was younger, my image of a writing life was less technical and more romantic: Jo in Little Women, writing her books in a drafty attic wearing fingerless gloves against the winter chill, or Jane Austen dipping her nib and contemplating her next chapter, while her parents plan a ball where she can meet eligible bachelors. Ah, the good old days.
At a Jumpstart Writing Workshop in May, I wrote a fictional scene on the prompt “It happened because . . . ” Marlene Cullen, always benevolent and encouraging to writers said, “That would be a good beginning for a romance novel.”
Jumpstart was on hiatus for the month of June, and this coincided with a flirtation I’d been having about trying the fabled “sit-your-ass-in-a-chair-and-write-a–thousand-words-a-day” method I’d heard so much about— a discipline that so many writers (who actually have books published) swear by. So I thought what the heck, if Marlene can drag herself to her exercise boot camp, I can drag myself into the kitchen: make some toast and coffee, go back to bed with my fully charged laptop, and write until it runs out of juice. This averages about three hours and about a thousand words. I am no worse for wear for the effort, and I have the rest of the day ahead of me—fully charged with a great sense of accomplishment. I press print, and then put my day’s work into a lovely flowered document box (Home Goods $7.98). My box is fancy and romantic—much nicer than poor Jo’s manuscript—wrapped with brown paper and twine. It might not be as nice as Jane’s satin lined box inlaid with elephant ivory, but hey—now I’ve got something to buy with my future royalties.
It’s July now and I’m thirty thousand words into my first novel. I have to tell you: The ass in a chair/ book in a box method works. You are free to do as you wish with your writing, of course. Do it on a whim or when the muse strikes. But get a fancy box to put it in. Remember that everything you write is a legacy of sorts. You can have a time capsule where your stories, journals, or Jumpstart notebooks can be collected—honoring your efforts with a neat and lovely testament to your creativity. Your voice in the form of your words can reside there in style.
Kathy Myers is a big fan of Jumpstart and Writers Forum. She has waded into the submission pool this past year and been published by Every Day Fiction, Petaluma Readers Theater and Redwood Writers Anthology. She has done several guest book reviews on The Write Spot Blog and is an advocate for fancy boxes everywhere.