Friday, December 28, 2007

Treadmills And Coffee

Every writer has that secret recipe that they swear helps them push the words out. For some, it's liquor and drugs, others swear by music, and perhaps Rufus Wainwright needs cigarettes and chocolate milk.

Over the last few days I have realized that I need a four mile run and a cup of coffee. Not at the same time, though. I need to run for about 40 minutes, do some weights and sit ups, and then on the way home pick up a coffee. Then, and only then, am I calm and centered enough to sit on the edge of my bed and stare at a laptop that is perched in top of a folding card table that I bought from a friend for five dollars several years ago. In all liklihood Peppe is curled on the bed as well. He'll be up soon enough, though, to stand watch in front of the oven. He's convinced there's a mouse behind it. (Shhh! Don't tell Peppe he's de-clawed.)

I was reading the cheesey writer magazines again today (for some reason I seem to have a subscription) and they give all sorts of advice about making a proper space for writing and devoting time at the same time every day to write.

I think that's baloney. No one really has a clean, well-lighted place to write. Most of us are lucky to carve out time -- at any time -- to do it. Because the New Year is approaching, I'm sure that writing classes and books about writing are suddenly going to become very popular, and I wish they wouldn't. I wish people who really want to write, be it books or blogs or even greeting cards, just sit down and do it. Occaisonally you do have to look something up, like how one goes about identfying a body at the morgue or how to play the bass. But all the time that people spend reading about the craft of writing should actually be spent writing.