Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How many boiled eggs make up a Molly Smith book?

Are you a “carrot” or “stick” type of writer, with regard to your own motivation? Do you ever reward yourself for finishing a book/chapter/scene/sentence? How? What other types of motivation do you use?

You do come up with the oddest questions.

I suppose I’m a stick writer.  True confessions – I really don’t much like writing. At least not the first draft. And certainly not the stickly middle.  Oh sure, the first paragraphs are fun when you are hot with a great idea, and the ending is fun when the action and drama are building and you’re excited (because if you, the author, ain’t excited sure as heck no one else is going to be).  But the rest, pure drudgery.

So the stick simply is do it because I have to do it.  The way to get finished is to get through it.

And that’s all.

Now, I have a routine, and that is that I write every morning, seven days a week.  If I didn’t have a strict routine, no writing would get done at all.  Which is why I never write a word when I’m travelling.

I get up, read my e-mail, check the news on the Internet,  read Facebook, that sort of thing, have coffee, but then I get up, go into the kitchen to where my small computer is laid out on the half-wall which is what I grandly call my stand-up-office. 

I start up the computer, and put an egg on to boil.  I boil an egg, leave it to cool and after about ½ an hour of writing time, I take a break to eat the egg back at the main computer where I check e-mail and Facebook etc.  
A rare moment working away from the stand-up office

I never thought about it that way before, but the egg is my reward for actually getting started.

Then back to the stand-up-office for another three to four hours.

And the rest of the time goes by quite quickly.

The egg is my carrot, isn’t it?

So I write a novel, one boiled egg at a time.

This coming weekend sees one of my favourite events of the year: Malice Domestic in Bethesda and then the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA.  This year I’m travelling down with my friend Barbara Fradkin, a Malice virgin.

If you are at either of those events (and if not, why not?) come over and say hi.

1 comment:

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

It's all about sticking to routines, isn't it? I'm a morning writer, like you, but without the boiled egg.