Monday, 12 September 2011

A Meditative Exercise

This blog is all about getting started. It's about that first roughest toughest draft, and it's about you and me becoming hardcore writers. Not about being, but becoming. And that's way more fun.

With that in mind, let's revisit the first post and the true meaning of Christmas. I mean, your butt being in this chair.

You may ask which chair, what chair, whose chair?

That's a straightforward line of questioning with a trick answer. You see, your chair is anywhere you are. Generally speaking, so is your butt. Your chair is where you write and to become a hardcore writer (or just a regular old writer in general) you must always have your butt in this chair. You are always a writer. It's like a crown you can't take off except that writers don't, as a general rule, make nearly as much as kings. Nor do they have to put up with as many assassination attempts, so it works out.

I assume you're reading this on your computer. Open a word document and write for five minutes. Your butt is in this chair, right?

Maybe you're reading this on your e-reader on your morning commute. Take a couple minutes to surreptitiously observe a fellow passenger. Try to pick one who doesn't look like he or she will shank you if you make eye contact. Memorize, not in images, but in words. When you get a chance, write down what you saw. Now make sense of it. Was she a punk rock artist? A nurse, a death-dealer, a dragon-slayer? Was he an accountant, a king-maker, a disowned son on his way to seek his inheritance from the family who tossed him out? Wherever you're going, your butt is in this chair.

If you are reading this on your smartphone in the grocery store, or next to your too loud neighbors (as I am writing this on my smartphone, next to my too loud neighbors) listen. That's dialogue you hear. When you get to a stopping point, write down what you remember. You're studying natural speech patterns and these lovely people are helping you for free.

Your butt. This chair.


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